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Historical and Biographical 

Sketches of Families 
in successive generations 
have been Identified with the 
Development of the Nation 



VOL : 





T - • Oumt4> RtoCNfB 

OCT. gf 190? 

0' «38 A*XXa No. 

Copyright, 1901, by 7y/.ff iraw YORK EVENING POST 
Copyright, 1902, by G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS 

■Cbe *niclierbocbcr press, «ew Bor» 

This work is based upon a series of articles which 
originally appeared in The New York Evening Post. 
These articles have been revised and expanded by the 
author for publication in permanent form. 






















-Barclay . 

-Beekman . 


-Clinton . 

-Cornell . 

-Cruger . 


-De Lancey 

-De Peyster 






-Hoffman . 

-Jay . 


-Kip . 




1 1 




John Jacob Astor .... 

From a steel engraving 

The Entrance to Astor Library, Lafayette Place . 

Astoria in 18 1 1 

Redrawn from an old print 

John Jacob Astor's Residence in 88th Street, near the East 

This is the house in which Washington Irving wrote Astoria 
From a print in Valentine's Manual 

The Waldorf-Astoria 

The Astor House .... 

William B. Astor .... 

From a steel engraving 

Rev. Henry Barclay, D.D. . 
Trinity Church as Enlarged in 1737 

Reproduced from The Parish of Trinity Church in the City 

James W. Beekman 
Mrs. James Beekman . 

From the painting by L. Kilburn, 1761 

The Beekman House, i860 . 

Headquarters of Sir William Howe in 1776. Beekman Hill, near First Avenue 
From an old lithograph print 

Henry Brevoort .... 

From R. Peale's sketch, made in 1823 

View of the Brevoort Estate and Vicinity 

Between 54th and ssth Streets, near First Avenue 
From a print in Valentine's Manual, 1866 

General James Clinton .... 
George Clinton 

of New 










Governor of New York in 1789. From the painting by Ezra Ames 


x 11 [lustrations 

New York City Hall 

DeWitt Clinton 

From the painting by Inman, owned by E. Abdy Hurry, Esq. 

Entrance of the Canal into the Hudson at Albany 

From an old print 

Ezra Cornell 

From a steel engraving 

Robert C. Cornell 

From a steel engraving 

Governor Alonzo B. Cornell 

From a steel engraving 

John Cruger 

From a steel engraving 

The Old Cruger House at Oscawana on the Hudson . 
The Boscobel Manor House, Cruger's Point on the Hudson 
Major Joseph Delafield 

From a steel engraving 

Delafield Mansion, 1861. 77th Street, New York 

From a print in Valentine's Manual, 1862 

Mrs. Ralph Izard (Alice DeLancey) .... 

From the portrait by Gainsborough 

Fraunces Tavern 

From an old print 

Alice De Lancey 

Wife of Ralph Izard 

Portrait in miniature on gold snuff-box 

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Izard 

From the painting by John S. Copley 

Statue of Abraham De Peyster 

Bowling Green, New York City 

The De Peyster House in Queen Street, New York, about 
1800 . 

From an old wood-cut 

Catherine De Peyster 

From a copy of the original portrait in the possession of Hon. E. H. Crosby 


Silver Plate of Johannis De Peyster Brought from Holland 

From an old print 

Frederick De Peyster .... 

From a steel engraving 

J. Watts De Peyster .... 

From a steel engraving 

James Duane 

From the painting in the City Hall 

William Alexander Duer 

From a steel engraving 

William Duer 

Member of Continental Congress 
From a steel engraving 

Colonel William Duer .... 

From a miniature 

Lady Catherine Alexander (Lady Kitty) 

Wife of Col. William Duer 
From a miniature 

Hamilton Fish 

From a steel engraving 

Nicholas Fish 

From the painting by H. lnman, 1823 

The Hamilton Fish Estate, Garrisons, N. Y. 
Gardiner Manor House, Gardiner's Island . 
The Indian Deed of Gardiner's Island . 

Reproduced from Lion Gardiner and his Descendants, by Curtis C. 

Inscription on the Tomb of John Gardiner . 

From a photograph 

Inscription on the Tomb of David Gardiner . 

From a photograph 

Alexander Hamilton 

From the painting by Trumbull 

Mrs. Alexander Hamilton .... 

From the painting by lnman 

John Church Hamilton 

From a photograph 


I 12 
I l6 












Monument to Alexander Hamilton, at Weehawken, N. 
Murray Hoffman 

From a painting 

Martin Hoffman 

From a painting 

The Hoffman Residence near Upper Red Hook, N. Y. 

Erected by Zacharias Hoffman in 1 760 

Matilda Hoffman 

From a miniature 

Anthony N. Hoffman 

From a miniature 

Old House in Kingston, N. Y., Erected by Nicolaes Hoffman 
Samuel Verplanck Hoffman .... 

From a photograph furnished by the late Dean Hoffman 

John T. Hoffman 

From a photograph furnished by the late Dean Hoffman 

Dean Eugene A. Hoffman .... 

From a photograph by Moreno & Lopez 

John Jay 

First Chief-Justice of the United States 

Gold Snuff-box 

Presented by the City of New York to John Jay 

Gold Watch 

Worn by John Jay 

Mrs. John Jay (Sarah Van Brugh Livingston) 

From a medallion by Daniel Huntington 

Mrs. John Jay and her Children . 

From the painting by R. E. Pine 

Rufus King 

From the painting by Trumbull 

Mrs. Rufus King 

From the painting by Trumbull 

The Home of Rufus King, Jamaica, Long Island 
Samuel Kip III 













Henry Kip 

Son of Samuel Kip of Kip's Bay 

Christina Kip 

Wife of Henry Kip 

Samuel Kip . 

Owner of Kip's Bay 
From a miniature on ivory 

Ann Kip 

Wife of Samuel Kip 
From a miniature on ivory 

Abraham R. Lawrence . 

From a photograph 

John L. Lawrence . 

From a portrait by Waldo 

Mrs. John L. Lawrence . 

From a portrait by Jarvis 

Residence of John L. Lawrence in East 14th Street, about 
1870 •. 

John Lawrence 

From a portrait by Copley 

Major Jonathan Lawrence 

From a painting 

Captain James Lawrence 

From a steel engraving by Williamson 

Hon. William Lawrence 

From the portrait by Inman 

Francis Lewis, Signer of the Declaration of Independence 

From a steel engraving 

The Marriage Certificate of Francis Lewis 
Major-General Morgan Lewis 

From the original portrait 











IN the work which follows an attempt has been made to treat 
the more notable families of the Empire State as units rather 
than as congeries of individuals. In the modern tendency 
toward analysis and detail, social phenomena are likely to be 
regarded as the products of the volition and action of one or 
more persons, who apparently dominate the rest. Thus treated, 
history becomes biography. Little or no consideration is awarded 
to the family which, from time immemorial, and even in these in- 
dividualistic days, has been a potent and permanent social force. 
Beyond the influence of heredity, which in itself is a factor of 
great importance, are family wealth, home atmosphere, clan and 
race pride, and the affection, gratitude, and other relationships of 
the third parties by which each family is surrounded. 

These added together constitute a social momentum which 
is always larger and more efficient in the development of society 
than the efforts and energies of any one man or woman. 

The extraordinary progress of New York State from its hum- 
ble Dutch beginning to its present imperial position is due, more 
than to any other one cause, to the personnel of its people. 
Among its citizens certain families rise above the rest by reason of 
various mental, moral, and physical attributes, in which they were, 
if not superior to their fellows, at least better adapted to the sur- 
rounding conditions of daily life. Each has played an active part in 
the drama of history and is still influencing the civilization of to-day. 

Each chapter of this work sketches the origin, the early his- 
tory, the larger personalities, and the more important achievements 
of the members of each family studied. Within the limits set for 

xvi Introduction 

the task it was impossible to include all the great families of New 
York. A complete account would be the labor of a lifetime. 

Considerable attention has been paid to ancestry, in the 
belief that locality, or possibly race, may exert a larger influence 
upon human beings than is usually accredited to that antecedent. 
While reference is made to ethnic and national lines, it is done 
more as a matter of convenience or reference than as a matter of 
explanation. The whole problem of race is so mixed and con- 
fused that it may well be dismissed from practical consideration. 
No matter what the origin of any family, it is, however far back 
the search may be extended, a perpetual blending of bloods from 
the same or varying communities, clans, cities, peoples, and 
nationalities. It is more probable that the law of personal selec- 
tion or of the attraction of like qualities influences any particular 
family than nationality or race. 

In the preparation of this work the facts have been taken, as 
far as possible, from private records and archives. Nearly all of 
the families have preserved large amounts of material concerning 
their annals, which may be regarded as authoritative in their 

Next to these have been official records— ecclesiastical, mu- 
nicipal, county, state, and national. Last, and least important, 
have been the works on biography and history which contain refer- 
ences to the characters under discussion. Where it was feasible 
the author has visited the cradles of each family in the Middle 
and Eastern States and in Europe. In addition to this, she has 
availed herself of the genealogical and biographical libraries of 
London, Paris, Amsterdam, and other European cities for infor- 
mation as to facts and persons in the eighteenth and preceding 
centuries. Each chapter has been submitted to at least two 
members of the family described therein and some to four and 
five for their emendation. Through their courtesy many interest- 
ing facts have been obtained, which have never before been 
published, many dates given in official publications have been 
corrected, and considerable light thrown upon obscure or neg- 
lected occurrences. 

flntrobuction xvii 

Of the families discussed, a majority had their immediate 
origin in Holland, a fourth in England, a tenth in Scotland, a tenth 
in France, and the remainder in Wales, Sweden, Ireland, and 

These figures express fairly the ethnic constituents of New 
York in the period between its settlement and the beginning of 
the nineteenth century, with the exception of the German, which 
was larger on account of the army of Palatines who entered the 
colony in the beginning of the eighteenth century. The discrep- 
ancy is due to the fact that these Palatines moved away from the 
social centres into the wilderness, and not until the Revolution 
did they take an active part in public affairs. 

Nearly every one of the names is eloquent in its own right. 
For example, Van Cortlandt, which is as Knickerbocker as can be, 
tells by its Dutch form of having come from the Netherlands and 
by its etymology of having pertained to that part of Russia on 
the Baltic which in the Middle Ages belonged to the Order of 
Teutonic Knights. Delafield is another chapter of history con- 
densed into nine letters. It is old New York, and before that 
English, and still farther back, Norman. Beyond that again it 
speaks of the land where the tide of battle rolled to and fro 
between the French and the Germanic banners. The noble name 
of Hoffman, so organic a timber in the ship of state, tells of the 
Dutch period, far off Scandinavia, and back of that of some 
Germano-Norse invasion into Scandinavia from the southern coast 
of the Baltic. 

The busy present is apt to forget its debt to the past ; the 
men of to-day to underestimate inherited wealth and power. 
The accomplishment of the moment seems larger than that of 
yesterday. If this work cause the reader to realize the import- 
ance and beauty of what has been done in the making of a great 
State, and the force of the upright manhood which has been the 
foundation-stone of so many New York families, the purpose of 
its undertaking will have been accomplished. 

M. A. H. 



COMPARED with many Huguenot and 
Knickerbocker families, the Astors may 
be justly termed newcomers in New 
York. The founder, John Jacob, did 
not arrive until 1784, when the city was 
almost a century old. He came from 
Walddorf, in Baden. Here in the 18th 
century lived a jovial marketman named 
Jacob Ashdoer, or Astor, who had a 
small business and a large family. There 
were four sons, all of whom left home 
to seek their fortune. The oldest set- 
tled in London, where he became a piano manufacturer, starting 
the firm known as Astor & Broadwood, which subsequently be- 
came the world-famous house of Broadwood. The 
second, Henry, came to New York, where he took up 
his father's trade. The third went to another part of the Father- 
land, and the fourth and youngest, John Jacob, followed the 
second over to the New World. Even at this time he displayed 
the remarkable will power which was to make him so prominent 
a man in America. When he made up his mind to emigrate, he 
had no money and did not know a word of English. He worked 
his way from Baden to Holland, and thence to London. He spent 
two years in London, where he learned the language fluently 
though not correctly, and where he put by enough money to pay 


John Jacob 

4 Hstor 

his steerage fare across the Atlantic, to buy a suit of Sunday 
clothes, and to have a surplus of fifteen guineas. He crossed the 
Atlantic in midwinter, and had a rough and stormy passage. On 
the ship was a fellow-countryman with whom he became quite 
intimate. The German had been a few years in America, and had 
built up a profitable business in furs and skins, and strongly ad- 
vised young Astor to engage in that calling. He explained all the 
details of the business, so that before America was reached Astor 
had an excellent theoretical knowledge of the subject. He valued 
the information so highly that he entered it in a memorandum 
book, which is said to be still preserved in the family archives. 
The ship arrived in Chesapeake in January, 1784, but the water 
was covered with floating ice as far as the eye could see. They 
lay ice-bound until March and the spring thaw came, and then 
they proceeded to Baltimore. 

One day when the ice was breaking, and there was danger 
of being crushed or swept away by the floating masses, the pas- 
sengers assembled upon the deck, ready to take to the small 
boats. All were dressed in the roughest clothing except young 
Astor, who had on his new London suit. The captain looked at 
him in amazement and asked : 

" What are you dressed up for ? " 

Young Astor answered carelessly : " If anything happens and 
I 'm saved, I have my Sunday clothes on; but if I get drowned, it 
won't make any difference what clothes I have on." 

Upon reaching New York, he went to his brother Henry, who 

lived over his store. He had a warm welcome and an invitation 

to become his brother's clerk. He was proud and in- 

In New York 

dependent, and declined the offer, going to work im- 
mediately afterwards with a baker, George Detrich, on the present 
site of No. 351 Pearl Street, corner of Frankfort. He had gained 
some culinary knowledge at home, and proved himself an adept 
at baking. He must have been much more skilful than other 
bakers, because tradition says that during his brief stay the busi- 
ness of the house more than doubled. He remained in the bakery 
about three weeks, and then became clerk in the store of Robert 

The Entrance to Astor Library, Lafayette Place 

Hetor 5 

Bowne, an old Quaker, at $2 a week and his board. He was 
indefatigable in his new position, and won not only the good 
graces of his employer, but also of the hunters, trappers, and 
Indians, from whom he bought goods. In 1785, he made his first 
trip up country, where he bought a cargo of furs and brought it 
back with him to the city. He utilized his leisure time coming 
and going in learning the Indian language. He kept this up, and 
in six years could converse intelligently, if not fluently, in Mohawk, 
Seneca, and Oneida. It is said that he was the first fur merchant 
to possess this accomplishment, and it gave him a prestige among 
the Indians, whose pecuniary value cannot be overestimated. 

In 1786, having saved up a little money, he resigned his 
position, and started 'in business on his own account in Water 
Street. He borrowed money from his brother Henry, but his 
entire capital was not more than five hundred dollars. In the next 
four years he worked tirelessly. At the outset he could not afford 
a clerk, and did all the labor about his little shop. During the 
buying season he went out with his pack upon his back and 
visited every farmer and village store which dealt in furs. The 
rest of the year he attended to their curing, beating, packing, 
selling, and shipping, and also to a small trade in musical instru- 
ments, which he had established in connection with his furs. In 
1790 he had become sufficiently prominent to appear in the city 
directory: "Astor, J. J., fur trade, No. 40 Little Dock Street." 
About this time he married Sarah Todd, daughter of Adam Todd, 
and a member of the Brevoort family. She brought him a dowry 
of three hundred dollars, and, what was far more valuable, a 
business ability almost as well developed as his own. She proved 
a partner in every sense of the word. There were six children by 
the union, of whom four attained prominence in the second 
generation: William B. [1792], who inherited his father's mer- 
cantile genius; Magdalen [1786], who married the Rev. Dr. John 
Bristed; Eliza [1790], who was one of the first American heiresses 
to marry a foreign title; and Dorothea [1795], who married 
Walter Langdon. 

Between 1790 and 1800, Astor developed his business with 

6 astor 

astonishing success. His arrangements for selling in New York 
were so admirable that he was able to employ a regiment of 
buyers, trappers, and Indians. He organized routes for his men, 
nearly all of which are to-day the lines of railways which terminate 
in New York. One was on Long Island; a second one along the 
Hudson to Lake Champlain, and thence to Montreal; a third from 
Albany to Buffalo; a fourth in New York State, which is now about 
where the Erie Railway runs; and a fifth to New Jersey and 
northern Pennsylvania. He made several trips to England, where, 
besides selling furs, he made a careful study of China and of the 
far Eastern trade. That trade was then monopolized by the East 
India Company, but Astor, through personal influence and 
diplomacy, secured a license from the authorities. On his return 
he sent his first ship to Canton, opening a commerce which he 
prosecuted for twenty-seven years, and from which he made 
enormous profits. It was not confined to the furs he exported to 
the East. He brought back cargoes of tea, rice, and matting, and 
through a happy accident discovered that the Sandwich Islands 
contained vast quantities of sandal-wood which could be bought 
for a few dollars a ton and sold in China for several hundred 
dollars a ton. He was the pioneer of America's trade with China, 
and opened a field which in after years was to give fortunes to a 
hundred merchants. 

It was about this time that he began to purchase real estate 
on Manhattan Island. His transactions were laughed at by mer- 
chants, but before fifteen years had passed his wisdom was 
conceded. Soon after this, owing probably to his appreciation of 
the value of trade with the far East, he began the establishment 
of a line of trading-posts from St. Louis to the Pacific, which 
culminated in the settlement of Astoria. In this giant undertaking 
Astor rose from the levels of ordinary trade into high finance and 
statesmanship. He saw clearly that the enormous expense in- 
volved might not repay him, although it would doubtless enrich 
his descendants. The picture which his imagination drew in the 
first decade of the century was what is the actual map in its last 
decade. His marvellous brain leaped forward eighty years. He 





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Astoria in 181 1 

Redrawn from an old print 


John Jacob Astor's Residence in 88th Street, near the East River 

This is the house in which Washington Irving wrote " Astoria" 
From a print in Valentine's Manual 

Hstor 7 

himself would have made Astoria what are now San Francisco, 
Portland, Seattle, and Tacoma combined. His plan miscarried, 
not through his fault, but through the War of 1812, which upset 
all calculations. This great chapter in his life is the theme of 
Washington Irving's Astoria. In it the chronicler declares that 
Astor's ambition had in this instance turned from gain to fame, 
and from self to the nation. 

These are the facts which stamp him as the man of a century. 
He died in 1834. To the public he is best known by that goodly 
inn, the Astor House, on lower Broadway, the noble library which 
bears his name, and the fortune of twenty millions which he left 
at his decease. 

William Backhouse Astor, who was born in 1792, inherited 
the bulk of his father's estate and also that of his uncle Henry, who 
had died rich and childless ; The two bequests made wuiiam 
William the richest man in the New World. He was Backhouse 
educated in the New York public schools, and afterwards in 
Gottingen. Upon graduation, he returned to this country and 
was taken into partnership by his father. In 1827, the firm dis- 
solved and the Astors retired from the China trade. The re- 
mainder of his life was devoted to operations in real estate, to 
aiding the great charities of the city, and the administration of the 
Astor Library. He had a strong literary taste, and, when a young 
man, wrote an excellent monograph upon "Napoleonic Grandeurs." 
In his investments he paid particular attention to the land lying 
between Fourth and Seventh avenues and south of Central Park. 
Here in 1867, he owned about 720 houses. He was the first to 
break away from the monotonous brownstone architecture of the 
mid-century and to introduce brick buildings trimmed with sand- 
stone or limestone, which mode of treatment is often referred to 
as the "Astor style." He married Margaret Alida Armstrong, a 
famous belle, by whom he had six children. In his philanthropy 
he was enthusiastic and indefatigable. To the Astor Library he 
gave in bequests and gifts over a half million dollars, and to hos- 
pitals, churches, asylums, and charitable societies his gifts during 
life were said to be over a million. He was unostentatious to a 

8 Hstor 

degree. When he died, his estate was estimated at about 
$45,000,000, of which the bulk was divided equally between his 
two sons, John Jacob 111. [1822] and William [1830]. In dividing 
the estate, the executors, after many months' hard work, arranged 
the various properties and investments in two lists, which they 
labelled "A" and " B." These lists were placed in a hat and the 
question of possession decided by lot. 

John Jacob 111., who died in 1890, possessed the family thrift 
and business talent, increasing his inheritance to an amount esti- 
mated between $75,000,000 and $100,000,000, all of 
which went to his sole child, William Waldorf. 

John Jacob III. studied at Columbia College and Gottingen. 
After graduation he went through the Harvard Law School. He 
volunteered in the Civil War and proved an efficient and capable 
soldier. In 1879, the mission to the Court of St. James's was of- 
fered to him, but he refused it, startling the politicians by declaring 
that he was not "fitted for the office." He pursued his father's 
policy of buying and improving real estate, and did much to 
increase the wealth and beauty of the city. Both he and his wife, 
who was Charlotte Augusta Gibbes, were deeply interested in 
education, and more especially in organizations for the benefit of 
children. They were liberal contributors to local philanthropic 
works. Mrs. Astor presented the Metropolitan Museum with her 
rare collection of laces, which was at that time the finest of its 
kind in the world. Mr. Astor further increased the endowment 
of the library so as to give it a value of one million dollars. 

William Waldorf [1847], son of John Jacob III., and the head 
of the fifth generation of the family, is more versatile than any of 
wniiam his ancestors. Though little over fifty, he has made his 
waidorf mark j n j aW) authorship, politics, diplomacy, archaeol- 
ogy, and journalism. He served in the N. Y. Legislature, 1878- 
1881, and was U. S. Minister to Italy, 1882-1885. He built the 
Netherlands and the Waldorf hotels, and in addition to these a 
large number of residences, stores, and office buildings of great 
elegance and beauty. He married Mary D. Paul, by whom he 
had two sons and one daughter. 

The Waldorf-Astoria 

The Astor House 

Hstor 9 

William Astor [1830], second son of William B. Astor, was a 
man of the same type as his brother, John Jacob III. He was an ab- 
olitionist before the war, a Unionist during the struggle,. wiiiiam 
and a generous friend of the South after peace was Astor 

declared. During the war, he equipped a regiment at his own 
expense. In 1875, when there was an Indian outbreak in Florida, 
in the Everglades, he raised a company and led them against the 
insurgents. He built the railroad from Palatka to the St. John's 
River, and began the development of the State. He constructed 
many handsome buildings in Jacksonville, which are still the 
special pride of the city. The Florida Legislature offered him the 
United States Senatorship from that State, and for his services pre- 
sented him with 80,000 acres of land in Lake County. He was an 
alumnus of Columbia, an athlete, a distinguished yachtsman, and 
a lover of fine arts. He left five children, of whom four were 

His only son, John Jacob Astor IV. [1862], inherited the larger 
part of his estate. In him new traits were added to those dis- 
played by his ancestors. He has been successful in 

r J J John Jacob IV 

science, mechanics, invention, authorship, and the army. 
He studied special courses in science at Harvard. During the late 
war with Spain, he fitted out a battery for the Government, and 
also served as a staff officer through the conflict. In him many 
ancient families of New York are represented. He is fifth in 
descent from Robert Livingston, original patentee of the Manor of 
Livingston, which included most of Dutchess and Columbia coun- 
ties, and ninth from Jacobus Van Cortlandt, Mayor of New York 
City in 1719. He is also a descendant of the Schermerhorns, Arm- 
strongs, Todds, and Brevoorts. He married Ava Willing in 1891, 
by whom he had one son. His chief mark in New York City is 
the Astoria, which combined with the Waldorf forms the largest 
and richest hotel in the world. There is a certain appropriateness 
that the family should be represented by two famous hotels, the 
one in the heart of the business quarter and the other in the centre 
of New York's most fashionable thoroughfare. 

Through marriage the Astor blood has been transmitted to 

io Hetor 

the following families : Boreel, Bristed, Carey, Carroll, Chanler, 
Chapman, de Groenings, Delano, de Notebeck, de Steurs, Drayton, 
Emmet, Jay, Kane, Kiefer, Langdon, Lowndes, Pollandt, Roose- 
velt, Rumpff, Stevens, Townsend, Van Men, Ward, Wilks, and 

The family name is stamped upon American history and 
geography. There is a town of Astor in Florida, Georgia, Iowa, 
and Kansas. There are Astorias in Illinois, Missouri, New York, 
and Oregon. There is an Astor Park in Florida and an Astor 
Court and Astor Place in the metropolis. There are more than 
fifty Astor Houses and Astor Hotels in various parts of the Union, 
and even a larger number of town and city thoroughfares bearing 
the family name. 

William B. Astor 

From a steel engraving 










■k . 

M I 


1 H 


" A 










O the Barclay family of Scotland, New 
York and the Middle States owe 
many of their most valued citizens. 
The name is a Gaelic variant of Berke- 
ley, and the family has contributed 
many incidents, and even chapters, to 
the annals of the Scotch kingdom 
from the time of William the Lion, 
a.d. 1220. They were proud and 
warlike nobles, fierce in their likes 
and dislikes, and enthusiastic in their 
religious convictions. They were noted for their beauty, the sons 
being successful in love, and the daughters winning the hearts 
and hands of the great nobles in each generation. 

The progenitor of the American branch was Colonel David of 
Ury [1610], whose adventurous life was a romance which com- 
pares well with the works of the most thrilling masters Col . David 
of fiction. He was well educated at home and started of Ury 

life a fine scholar, a bon vivant, a good swordsman, and, oddly 
enough, a man of almost austere piety. When scarcely out of his 
teens, he visited Germany, where, after learning German and Swed- 
ish, he joined the Swedish army under Gustavus Adolphus. He rose 
rapidly in his martial calling, becoming in quick succession ser- 
geant, lieutenant, captain, and major. His career on the Conti- 
nent was cut short by the civil conflict at home, and in spite of 

1 4 Barclay 

the entreaties of the famous Swedish King, he threw up his com- 
mission and returned to Scotland, where he plunged into the tur- 
moil of the time. His career here was more brilliant than under 
his former commander. He became major and colonel of cavalry 
on the Parliamentary side, and soon made his name feared by the 
opposition. He defeated the Earl of Crawford at Banff, and in 
1646, with Major-General Middleton, relieved Inverness and dis- 
lodged Montrose and Seaforth, driving them into the mountain 

Honors came upon him thick and fast. He was made 
Governor of Strathbogie, Military Commander of Sutherland, 
Caithness, and Ross, and general of cavalry. He indignantly re- 
linquished his career upon the execution of the Duke of Hamilton. 
He and the Duke had been more like brothers than friends, and 
the injustice of the latter's fate changed completely the tenor of 
Barclay's life. Although he retired from the army, his active 
temperament had to have relief in some arena. He entered poli- 
tics, and was elected to Parliament for Sutherlandshire, and at the 
following Parliament for the shires of Angus and Mearns. Here 
he made himself the most talked-about man in the kingdom by 
opposing and voting against Cromwell. The audacity of the act 
astonished the nation, and every one expected his arrest and 
prosecution. The great Protector was so pleased with Barclay's 
intrepidity that he took no notice of what was regarded as trea- 
son by some and an insult by all. Cromwell's magnanimity was 
not shared by his time-serving followers. Upon several occasions 
Barclay was arrested without warrant and thrown into prison 
without a hearing ; but in each case his friends succeeded in ob- 
taining his release. In those days of gloom and persecution, his 
mind turned from material to spiritual subjects, and, when fifty- 
six years of age, he created amazement, especially among his 
intimate friends, by becoming a Quaker. 

His conversion was accompanied with characteristic zeal. 
The sect which was harassed by the intolerance of the time soon 
began to thrive under his fearless leadership. It aroused the 
antipathy of the churches, which began to take action against the 

Barclay 15 

humble followers of George Fox. These culminated in 1676 in 
Barclay's arrest, on what now seems the incredible charge of 
"worshipping his Maker contrary to civil law." He was found 
guilty, fined, and imprisoned. Through the influence of his son 
and friends, he was released, then reimprisoned, but finally lib- 
erated by order of the court. This incident in his life is of interest 
to Americans, because it was instrumental, if not causative, in 
making his son, Robert, a Quaker, and bringing him into intimate 
relations with George Fox and William Penn, which eventuated 
in the departure of Penn for the New World and the establishment 
of Pennsylvania. 

Of the children of Colonel David, Robert, the Governor of East 
Jersey [1648], played an influential part in the destinies of New 
York. He was educated at home and in Paris, and Governor 
when nineteen became a member of the Society of Robert 

Friends. The mantle of Colonel David fell upon the shoulders 
of his son. When twenty-seven years old he wrote An Apology 
for the Quakers, which was presented to Charles II. on behalf of 
that denomination. It was published in Latin, English, Dutch, 
German, French, and Spanish, and is a classic in Quaker literature. 
So well written was the apology that it won the respect of its 
enemies. In France it was highly praised by the arch-cynic, Vol- 
taire, who in his comments upon the pamphlet, said: "It is 
surprising how an apology written by a private gentleman should 
have such an effect as to procure almost a general release to the 
whole sect from the sufferings they then underwent." 

Robert possessed rare tact and shrewdness. Through skilful 
management he largely increased his patrimony and engaged in 
many profitable enterprises. He was one of the twenty-four 
proprietors of East Jersey, a quasi-corporation formed to take over 
a part of the vast landed estates of Sir George Carteret and Lord 
Berkeley, which lay westward of New York harbor. The pro- 
prietors elected him Governor of East Jersey, and in order to 
induce him to accept the position they ceded five thousand acres 
to him in addition to his own share of the territory. This made 
him at a single step one of the largest landowners within the 

1 6 Barclay 

boundaries of New York and New Jersey. He does not seem to 
have crossed the Atlantic to enter into his new possessions, but 
john, the contented himself with sending his brothers, David and 
Founder j hn. The former died upon the voyage; the latter 
arrived safely, settled upon the estate, and married Cornelia Van 
Schaick, thus becoming the genealogical head of the family in the 
United States. For many years Robert was indefatigable in de- 
veloping his lands beyond the ocean. The records show that he 
shipped supplies, money, medicines, and immigrants from both 
Scotland and England. 

John, the founder, was an industrious and devout man, of 
marked executive skill. He passed most of his life at his country- 
seat, but visited New York with great regularity. As a house at 
the time in New York was known as the Barclay House, it is fair 
to infer that he had a residence in what even then was regarded 
as a metropolis. 

In the third generation but one name claims attention, the 
Rev. Thomas [17 13], son of John the founder. He was a studious 
Rev. and pious character, who, after receiving the best edu- 

Thomas cation the colony afforded, took orders and entered the 
Church. He became the first rector of St. Peter's, Albany, and 
in that city met and married Anna Dorothea Drauyer, daughter 
of Admiral Andrew Drauyer of the Dutch navy. He was well off, 
having received considerable property by both inheritance and 

The Rev. Dr. Henry, son of the Rev. Thomas, was the chief 
personage in the fourth generation. He studied in Albany, went 
Rev. to Yale, where he was graduated in 1734, thence to 

Henry England, where he took orders. He inherited the 

piety and fearlessness of his forebears, and upon his return took up 
the hazardous calling of a missionary among the Indians of northern 
New York. He spent several years in the Mohawk country, and 
learned the language of that tribe. No sooner had he mastered 
the tongue than he translated the liturgy from English, with the 
aid of two other scholars, the Rev. W. Andrews and the Rev. J. 
Ogilvie. He visited Albany at intervals, where his eloquence and 

Barclay 17 

fervor produced a deep impression. His fame travelled to New 
York, and resulted in a call from the trustees of Trinity. This he 
accepted, and in 1746 became the rector of New York's famous 

His ministration was marked by rare tact and thoughtfulness. 
He did everything within his power to increase the social influence 
of his pulpit and to identify it with the best interests of the com- 
munity. He enlarged the parish school and extended the facilities 
for the education of poor scholars and for a higher training than 
was given in educational institutions of the province. As early as 
1750, he took part in the agitation for the establishment of a Royal 
College in New York. In the beginning, these efforts met with 
but a feeble response. Indifference and religious prejudice were 
obstacles which might have daunted a less determined character ; 
but he kept on undiscouraged. Shortly after this he was the 
chief organizer of the meeting of the officers of Trinity Church, 
which discussed the advisability of action in the premises. He 
almost certainly was one of the committee which drafted the 
papers on which the charter was obtained. 

In the meantime, such a sentiment had been built up in favor 
of the new institution of learning that the promoters formed a 
temporary organization and engaged the Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson 
as President. This was done in the spring, although the charter 
was not secured until the autumn, of 1754. Eight scholars were 
enrolled, and it became necessary to establish temporary quarters. 
The rector came to the front and had Trinity offer the use of its 
own schoolhouse to King's College until the latter had built its 
own halls of learning. The offer was accepted and the first class 
assembled on July 17th of that year in this schoolhouse. Some 
fifty years before, Lewis Morris, who became Governor of New 
Jersey, had recommended the establishment of a college in New 
York and had counselled the British Government to set aside for 
that purpose a tract of land belonging to the Crown, known as 
the Queen's or the King's Farm, which lay to the north of Trinity 
Church. In the course of the years, Trinity had acquired title to 
this farm and had added it to its handsome estate. Now that the 

1 8 36arcla£ 

college was started and the scholars were meeting in the Trinity 
schoolhouse, the words of the old patriot were brought up and 
promptly acted upon. The rector and the churchwardens deeded 
to the college governors a portion of the farm, lying west of Broad- 
way, between Barclay and Murray streets, and extending down 
to the Hudson River. Here in 1756 the corner-stone was laid, and 
four years afterwards the buildings were enough advanced for use 
by officers and students. 

Although a majority of the governors of the college were 
members of the Church of England, and the Presbyterians and 
Dutch Reformed people had predicted a sectarian management on 
the part of the college administration, Dr. Barclay, with extraor- 
dinary wisdom, was a warm supporter of the broad and liberal pol- 
icy which was adopted for King's, afterwards Columbia, College. 
The result was that the former opposition died away and all de- 
nominations united in supporting their new seat of learning. A 
pleasant evidence of his liberality is found in the fact that he 
approved the additional charter passed the following year, at 
the request of non-Episcopalians, providing for the appointment 
of a "professor of divinity of the Reformed Protestant Dutch 

The passage of the supplemental charter allayed all fear of 
sectarian oppression, as doubtless the worthy rector had foreseen. 
The chair, however, it is said, was never filled. In 1758, the first 
Commencement was held in St. George's Chapel, with the rector 
of Trinity in full canonicals upon the platform. Diplomas were 
granted to seven graduates. 

Dr. Barclay was one of the organizers and first trustees of the 
"New York Society Library, to which he contributed books from 
his own private collection. He secured the building of St. George's 
Chapel on Beekman Street, upon land now occupied by the J. L. 
Mott Company, and was remarkably efficient in organizing church 
work and church workers. His popularity was evinced by the 
bestowal of his name upon Barclay Street, which was an appro- 
priate compliment when it is remembered that this thoroughfare 
was the southern boundary of the King's College grounds. He 

Trinity Church as Enlarged in 1717 

Reproduced from " The Parish of Trinity Church in the City of New York ' 

Barclay 19 

married Mary Rutgers, daughter of Colonel Anthony Rutgers, by 
whom he had four children, all of whom grew up, married, and 
had issue. 

In the fifth generation, the two daughters married men who 
were to attain high distinction, Cornelia wedding Stephen De 
Lancey, and Anna Dorothea, Beverly Robinson (II.,) from whom 
have descended the Beverly Robinson family, with its many 

The two sons, Colonel Thomas and Anthony, figured very 
prominently in the latter part of the eighteenth and early part of 
the nineteenth centuries. They mark a turning-point 

Col. Thomas 

in the history of the family. Theretofore the male 
members had been landed gentry, courtiers, and clergymen; from 
now on they become largely identified with the commercial world. 

Col. Thomas [1753] was graduated from Columbia in 1772. 
He was a strong Tory, and upon the breaking out of the Revolu- 
tion took up arms for the King. He was a good soldier, and in 
1777 was made major, and afterwards colonel. At the close of 
the war, he was so indignant at the result of the contest that he 
left New York and went to Nova Scotia. Here he entered political 
life, and was elected to the Assembly, where he became Speaker. 
He was adjutant-general of the militia and British Commissioner 
under the Treaty of Ghent, commonly known as Jay's Treaty. As 
the years rolled by he became dissatisfied with the narrow life in 
the northern province, and yearned to rejoin his former friends in 
New York. He yielded at last to this desire and came to the me- 
tropolis, where he was appointed British Consul-General. He held 
this position until his death in 1830. In both New York and Nova 
Scotia, he was interested in commercial enterprises, showing abil- 
ity, which he transmitted to his children. He married Susan De 
Lancey, by whom he had six sons and four daughters. 

His brother, Anthony [1762], was a merchant in the latter part 
of the eighteenth century, who married Dientie Lent, the beautiful 
and wealthy daughter of Abraham Lent. Both men Anthony the 
excelled in the social graces. The official position and Merchant 
brilliant record of Col. Thomas gave him much prestige, while the 

20 Barclay 

sterling qualities and winning nature of Anthony made him equally 
popular. Their children, especially the daughters, were social 
leaders both before and after marriage. All were happy in their 
unions. The weddings united the Barclays with the influential 
families of Stuyvesant, Parsons, Fraser, Watts, Aufree, Livingston, 
Waldburg, Moore, Johnson, De Lancey, and Beverly Robinson. 
The social registers of that period are little beside repetitions of 
these names. 

The sons of Col. Thomas entered business, in which they 
proved successful. Two of them founded the house of " Henry 
& George Barclay," about 1814. Afterwards they admitted their 
brother Anthony, and still later, their brother-in-law, Schuyler 
Livingston, who married their sister Elizabeth. This firm was 
noted for its enterprise and did much to develop the commerce of 
New York. In 1834, the name was changed to Barclay & Living- 
ston, under which title it became even more famous than before. 
One of the members of this generation, Thomas (II.), 

Capt. Thomas . . . . 

kept up his fathers anti-Revolutionary prejudices, and 
entered the British navy, where he rose to be captain. A notable 
feature of this generation was physical vigor. There were thirteen 
representatives, all of whom grew to maturity and married, and 
nine of whom had large families in turn. 

The seventh generation carried to a higher development the 
tendencies of the sixth. It displayed great activity in both the 
mercantile and social world. Its numbers and connections by 
marriage made it a dominant force in Gotham life. Of the chil- 
dren of Anthony, Henry A. W. married Cornelia Cochran ; 
Frederick W., Louisa C. Alburtis ; Adelbert E. E. W., Margaret 
Marshall ; John O'Connor, Ann Wilkes Collet ; J. Searle, Lilie 
Oldfield ; Walter C, Grace Douglass ; the Rev. Cuthbert, rector 
of All Souls' Church, New York, Sarah Sophia Schieffelin ; 
Thomas (III.), Lavinia Carrick, and afterwards Fanny McGee ; 
Henry A., Clara Wright ; James Lent, Olivia Mott Bell, and after- 
wards Priscilla Dixon Sloane ; and Sackett Moore, Catharine 
Cochran Barclay. On the female side of this generation, Matilda 
Antonia married Francis R. Rives ; Anna Matilda, J. Pollock 

Barclay 21 

Burgwm ; and Fanny, William Constable. In the eighth genera- 
tion, six male descendants preserve the family name. These are: 
Henry ; J. Searle ; Henry, son of Henry A.; Wright, Harold, and 
Robert Cochran. 

The career of the family may be divided into three epochs. 
They were first pioneers and organizers, and contributed largely 
to the early settlement and development of New York. In the 
second epoch they were clergymen of talent and wide influence. 
In the third they were merchants, scholars, and society leaders. 
Those of the first epoch planted the seed, the second cultivated 
it, and the third reaped the harvest. 




/HOUGH the great wave of German 
immigration did not reach the New 
World until the beginning of the 
eighteenth century, when the so- 
called Palatine movement occurred, 
there were many additions to the 
population of both New Amsterdam 
and New York, in the earlier years, 
from the sturdy Fatherland. Fore- 
most among these was Wilhelmus, 
or William, Beekman of Statselt, 
Overyssel, Holland, whose family be- 
longed to that Cologne district of North Germany. He was born 
[1623] in a troublous period, when the German Con- 
federation was torn by religious strife, and was a mem- 
ber of an educated, influential Protestant family, which for many 
generations had rendered important services to the State. De- 
spite its wealth and power, it suffered severely in the persecutions 
of the period, and had been forced to remove several times from 
one district to another, in order to preserve property and life. 
Persecution did not cause the Beekmans to waver in their faith or 
attitude. From the time when Luther led the revolt against 
Rome, they were stanch advocates of the New Church in ad- 
versity as well as prosperity. This marked their career in Ger- 
many and their subsequent record in the New World. 

the Governor 

26 38eehman 

The higher fame of the family rested upon its learning. Ger- 
ard Beekman of the sixteenth century [1S76], was a famous 
Gerard linguist and scholar, who was said to speak, think, 

the scholar anc j (j re am in five languages. Cornelius Beekman of 
the fifteenth century [1470] was a learned man, who was con- 
sulted by the petty princes of the time for information and advice. 
Cornelius Unlike most students, the Beekmans possessed a well- 
thesage developed business sense. They belonged to the 
wealthy class, and many of them held titled and official rank. 
The majority, however, refused to conform to court requirements, 
preferring the approval of their own consciences to the privilege 
of being nobles. 

As the educational facilities for Protestants in his home dis- 
trict were small, Wilhelmus, while still in his teens, moved to 
Holland, where he made rapid progress in scholarship and social 
position. At twenty-one he was an officer in the Reformed 
Church, and at twenty-two a civil magistrate. When it is re- 
membered that the Netherlands were in those days about the 
most advanced of the European nations, and that its people were 
superior in intellectual accomplishments to their neighbors, the 
achievements of the young man show him to have been a re- 
markable personality. In 1647 he was asked to go to the Dutch 
colonies with Governor Petrus Stuyvesant, whose affections he 
seems to have won. He promptly assented, and took advantage 
of Stuyvesant's friendship to bring with him a number of German 
families who had been impoverished and expatriated from their 
homes by religious bigotry and oppression. The voyage from 
Holland to the New World was long and arduous, Stuyvesant 
going by the way of Curacoa in the West Indies on account of 
political considerations. It was the first time that most of the 
passengers had experienced a tropical climate, and their sufferings 
were great. 

Wilhelmus endeared himself to all on board by his kindliness 
and wisdom. He served as nurse and physician, and was the 
soul of activity on the ship. They reached New York in due 
season, and, before attending to his own needs, he obtained for 

Beekman 2 ; 

the families under his supervision a grant of lands on the shores 
of the Hudson. Here they settled a little village, which they 
named Rhinebeck. The name is undoubtedly a compliment to 
their protector, Wilhelmus, as well as a memorial to their own 
land, Rhine being the district from which they originally came, 
and "beck" being the shortened or ancient form of the first 
syllable of Beekman's name. 

At first he seems to have spent some time in investigating the 
territory along the Hudson. He had brought with him a large 
amount of wealth from the Old World, and desired to invest it 
judiciously. Not until 1652 did he purchase the holdings which 
were to be the basis of his family's wealth. It cannot be said that 
his investment was admired at the time. It consisted of marsh 
land lying in the neighborhood of Corlear's Hook. At that period 
the East River ran much farther inland than at present, and a large 
portion of the territory between Fulton Street and Corlear's Hook 
was salt meadow, scarcely fit for grazing, excepting along the 
lines of the little ponds and streams which dotted the place. His 
first purchase was followed by others, which included the land 
now bounded by Nassau, Ann, Gold, Pearl, Fulton, and Frankfort 
streets, and also the swamp below Pearl Street, which from that 
time on was known as " Beekman's Swamp." Here tanneries 
were established, and a trade in leather developed. More than 
two centuries have passed, and the district is still known as "the 
Swamp," and the few tanneries are now replaced by the largest 
leather warehouses in the world. A street was laid out through 
the property and was designated Beekman Street by the public in 
honor of the owner. A second thoroughfare, running at right 
angles to the first was called William Street, after his Christian 
name. The two streets are the monument to-day of the wise 
and upright pioneer. 

In 1653 he was elected an Assistant Alderman of New Amster- 
dam, which position he held for four years. He was then made 
Vice-Governor of the South River Colony, this being the Swedish 
settlement which Governor Stuyvesant had conquered, and which 
the Dutch West India Company sold to New Amsterdam. He 

28 16ecfcman 

soon was promoted to be Governor. The young Governor ap- 
pears to have been the first to notice that the colony was not 
Swedish, but Swedish and Finnish, a fact which adds greatly to 
our knowledge of the polyglot character of the early immigration. 
The year 1004 saw him Sheriff of New Amsterdam. In 1074 he 
was elected Burgomaster. He held office under the English, and 
was on the Board of Aldermen up to 1096, when he retired on 
account of old age. He resided in the heart of his farm, about 
where Pearl and Frankfort streets are at present. Here he died in 
1 7 1 7. at the age of eighty-five, universally loved by his neighbors — 
Dutch, Huguenot, and English. He married Catharine Van Boogh, 
one of the Dutch belles of the period. The union was happy and 
fruitful, there being five sons and one daughter : the latter married 
Nicholas William Stuyvesant, son of the great Governor. 

In the second generation, Dr. Gerard, or Gerardus. and Colo- 
nel Henry were prominent in the public eye. Dr. Gerard was 
„ _ , a stronger character than his distinguished father. 

Dr. Gerardus ° = 

the Acting Though born to great wealth, he was as industrious 
and ambitious as a man dependent upon his own re- 
sources. He studied medicine and became a respected leader in 
the medical profession. He took an active part in civic affairs, 
and was always with the democratic, as opposed to the so-called 
aristocratic, party. Acting-Governor Jacob Leisler appointed him 
a major, and Governor Bellomont, a lieutenant-colonel. He was 
prominent in the Revolution of 16SS, and was condemned to death, 
with his superior, Leisler. 

Dr. Gerardus was pardoned, and resumed his former active 
life. In spite of his connection with the Leisler affair, he easily 
regained his former popularity, and was a friend and an official of 
several colonial governors. Besides his military office under the 
Earl of Bellomont, he was a member of Governor Cornbury's 
Council (1702-1708), and two years afterwards was President of 
the Council and Acting Governor of New York. He was made a 
member of Governor Hunter's Council the same year, and held 
the position until his death. He had a large medical practice, and 
frequently crossed the East and North rivers upon professional 

Mrs. James Beekman 

From tlie painting by L. Kilburn, 1701 

The Beekman House, i860 

Headquarters of Sir William Howe in [770. Beekman Hill, near First Avenue 
From an old lithograph print 

IBeefeman 29 

visits, a rather uncommon proceeding in those days of slow ferries 
and ungovernable tides and currents. He found time to improve 
the Beekman estate, which through the growth of the city had 
now become very valuable. He married Magdalene Abeel, of 
Albany, by whom he had both sons and daughters. 

Colonel Henry, son of Wilhelmus and brother of Dr. Gerard, 
invested his inherited wealth in land in the neighborhood of 
Esopus, where he took up a permanent residence. His Col Henry 
possessions were so extensive that he was called "The "The Great 
Great Patentee." He was keenly alive to public duties, 
both of Church and State, serving as deacon and elder of the one, 
and Judge of Ulster County for the other. He married Joanna, or 
Jane, de Loper, of Boston, by whom he had issue. 

In the third generation, Colonel Henry II., son of Colonel Henry 
[1688], was a wealthy owner of landed property and distinguished 
in the affairs of the State. He was many years in the Col#HenryIIi 
Provincial Assembly (1725 to 1758), serving perhaps the As- 
longer than any other member. He was twice married, 
his first wife being Janet Livingston, daughter of Robert Living- 
ston, and his second, Gertruyd Van Cortlandt. He had issue by 
both wives, those of the second dying young. He served as 
Judge, and held numerous minor offices. 

Dr. William [1694], son of Dr. Gerard, was a distinguished 
physician in the eighteenth century. His services in 1745, when 
there was an epidemic of smallpox and lingering fever, Dr WiIliam 
were so valued as to receive a vote of thanks from the the phiian- 
city. During the epidemic he gave his time and skill 
to the poor without charge, and did much towards bringing the 
diseases under control. He married Catharine Peters de laNoy, 
by whom he had many children. 

In this generation, Jacobus deserves mention. He enjoyed 
opulence, and was notably philanthropic. He married Eliza- 
beth de Peyster, who proved a congenial helpmeet in t acobus 
church and charitable work. Their union was blessed 
with several children, including Gerardus [17 18], Jacobus [1722], 
and John. 

30 Beefcman 

In the fourth generation the chief personality was Margaret 
Beekman, the only surviving child of Colonel Henry 11. She stands 
out above her contemporaries as one of the great 
heroes of the Revolution. Beauty, refinement, culture, 
and wealth were hers by inheritance. To these she added the 
highest type of moral and spiritual character. In the lottery of 
marriage she drew a capital prize in the person of Judge Robert 
R. Livingston of Clermont. She was a model wife and mother. 
Of her many children, eight grew to maturity and established 
themselves in handsome homes in Clermont, near their birthplace. 
Before she died, no less than twenty-four such establishments 
represented her descendants. 

Her life was devoted to the high ideals she set before herself. 
Though a natural aristocrat, she was the truest kind of a demo- 
crat. She believed in individualism and liberty. Before the 
breaking out of the Revolution, she was a strong opponent of 
the abuses of the administration. When the war came, she did 
all that lay within her power to aid the Continentals. Her home 
in Clermont was the headquarters and the asylum of the 

One year she gave the entire income of her estate to the 
public treasury. To do this, she was compelled to sell a portion 
of her holdings in Saratoga to pay the tax bills. In the darkest 
years of the Revolution she lost no courage, but determined with 
her husband that if the patriot cause was lost, they would sell 
their property and remove to Switzerland. She declared that 
they would not live in a country where a man was deprived of 
the exercise of his natural rights. So thorough was her knowl- 
edge of men and events that the American leaders frequented her 
house to obtain the benefit of her counsels. One incident in 
her career is graphically described by Miss Julia Delafield : 

"Not long before the delegates who assembled at Kingston 
declared the State of New York independent, a number of the 
most influential Republicans met at Clermont. That the State 
should be independent was no longer a question, but there were 
other points to be considered ; for instance, who was to be the 

Beekman 31 

first Governor. One gentleman well qualified for the office was 
all-important in the position he then occupied, and could not 
be spared. There was a valid objection to every person named 
until Mrs. Margaret Beekman Livingston, who was present at their 
deliberations, proposed George Clinton. Her suggestion was re- 
ceived with acclamation: ' He is the man! Why did not we think 
of him at once? ' Margaret Beekman had the honor of nominat- 
ing the first Governor of the State of New York, and now the 
statue of Governor Clinton stands side by side with that of her 
son, Chancellor Livingston, in the Capitol of the United States." 
Two sons of Dr. William, Gerard W. and James, were prom- 
inent in the latter part of the eighteenth century, and through 
their mercantile ability largely increased their inherit- 

J & J Gerard W. 

ance. The latter owned the famous Beekman mansion 
on the East River, which for many years was regarded as the 
finest residence in the metropolis. They took pride in the city, 
and did much towards its improvement. Gerard W. married 
Mary Duyckink ; and James, Jane Keteltas. 

In the fifth generation the leading representatives were Gerard, 
who married Catharine Sanders, and John, who mar- 


ried Mary E. G. Bedlow. Both were men of wealth 
and active in church affairs. 

In the sixth generation the ablest member of the family was 
undoubtedly James William [1815], son of Gerard and Catharine 
Sanders. He was graduated from Columbia in 1834, James 

studied law, and was admitted to the bar. He travelled wiiiiam 
extensively, and on his return to this country made the 
voyage in one of the first ocean steamships. He served in the 
New York Assembly (1848) and the New York Senate (1849-51). 
He was a trustee of the Medical Department of Columbia (1860- 
1877), and of the college proper from 1875 to 1877, which was the 
time of his death. He carried through the Legislature the bill 
creating Central Park. During the Civil War he was an energetic 
patriot. Other offices which he held were: the Vice-Presidency 
of the New York Historical Society, Vice - Presidency of the 
New York Hospital, Presidency of the Woman's Hospital, and 

32 Beekman 

Presidency of the New York Dispensary. His death was untimely, 
and was caused by sickness contracted in the prosecution of his 
duty as an officer of the New York Hospital. He married Abian 
Steele Milledoler, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Philip Milledoler, 
President of Rutgers College, and. is represented in the seventh 
generation by James William II., Gerard, Catharine B., and 

Another descendant of prominence was Judge Henry Rutgers. 
He was graduated from Columbia in 1865, and from the Columbia 
judge Henry Law School in 1 867. The same year he was admitted 
Rutgers j. Q ^q b^ anc j soon built up a lucrative practice. He 
was active in civic life, serving as Park Commissioner, President 
of the Board of Aldermen, Corporation Counsel, and Commis- 
sioner for promoting uniformity in legislation in the United States, 
and Supreme Court Justice of the State. He married Isabella 
Lawrence, and is represented in this generation by Josephine, 
William F., Mary E., and Henry R. II. 

The Beekman family has been marked during seven genera- 
tions by unusual vitality, both intellectual and physical. It has 
manifested skill in nearly all the vocations, and high talent in the 
professions. A singular characteristic has been pointed out by one 
of its members. While the possession of wealth and culture does 
not seem to lessen the size of the Beekman families generation 
after generation, it apparently tends toward a preponderance of 
daughters over sons. On the female side, it is probably the most 
numerous of all the old families of New York State, and to all the 
bloods into which its daughters have married they have brought 
the paternal virtues. Of the fifty historical families of New York 
State, more than one half possess Beekman blood. The main 
characteristic of the race has been the democratic spirit in its full- 
est development. In religion, it has favored what may be 
termed the congregational rather than the ordinational system of 
ecclesiastical government; in politics, it has espoused the cause 
of the masses against the classes, and of the people against the 
crown; while in charities it has endeavored to help those in need 
by teaching them how to help themselves. 




OW long Holland has been a refuge 
for the persecuted and distressed, it 
is difficult to determine. History 
teaches that in the clash and conflict 
of political and religious forces the 
weaker are forced either into the 
mountains, or else down the river 
valleys to the inaccessible marshlands 
bordering on the sea. To this cir- 
cumstance, geographical rather than 
political, it may be due that Holland 
was from the first a Mecca for fugitives 
and vanquished. It is certain that long before the relentless wars 
by Rome against the Huguenots there were smaller persecutions, 
in which the heretical were forced to abandon their homes in 
order to preserve life and property. The wars upon the Lollards 
in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and on the Albigenses in 
the twelfth and thirteenth, were attended with results similar to 
those which characterized the extermination of the Huguenots. 
Genealogy and history both show that there was a Lollard 
migration at one time to the Netherlands, and long before that a 
movement of Albigenses to the same hospitable and charitable 
land. In this movement, French and German, Walloon and 
Fleming, English, Russian, and Scandinavian were actors. 

The fugitives were in nearly every instance men of firm 


36 Brevoort 

convictions and vigorous moral natures. They were strong 
physically, and in the sifting process, where the sword and fagot 
are the sieves, only the best types of manhood and womanhood 
tended to survive. To this cause was undoubtedly due the 
tremendous strength of Holland during its brilliant career. Its 
population was a composite of a stalwart original race mixed with 
selected specimens of a dozen other races. The blending of these 
different types would in itself result in the production of a superior 
community; it would also result in the strengthening of the 
principles of toleration, helpfulness, and co-operation. 

According to tradition, the founder of the Brevoorts of Holland 
was a religious refugee, and probably a Flemish Albigense. He 
settled in the Amersfort district of Holland, where for at least two 
centuries the name appears upon the local records. He begot a 
quiet, sterling race, which devoted itself to the cultivation of the 
soil, and occasionally entered mercantile life. They were religious 
and soldierly, as is shown by church archives and military 
chronicles. They possessed family vigor, so that the name is still 
to be encountered in many parts of the Netherlands. 

In the seventeenth century, Hendrick Jansen [1630?] came to 
America. He was apparently attracted by the name of a settle- 
Hendrick ment on Long Island, Amersfort, or New Amersfort, 
the Founder now a p ar t of the Borough of Brooklyn, and took up a 
residence at that place. He stayed here but a brief period, and 
then moved to Maspeth Kill, which is now Newtown Creek, in 
the same borough, and thereafter changed his abode to New 
Haarlem, on the Island of Manhattan. 

The latter place, in those days, was a very desirable district, 
from a Dutch point of view. A large part of it had been settled 
by Captain Jochiem Pietersen Kuyter, a Danish gentleman, who, 
attracted by the fertility of the low-lying soil, had organized what 
we would call to-day a real-estate syndicate, to develop its 
resources. Here he and his colleagues had fought and finally 
pacified the Indians, had drained much of the soil, and perfected 
plans for the securing of farmers and farm-laborers. They were 
kindly landlords, and very progressive, according to the standards 

Brevoort 37 

of their age. They built the Haarlem road or turnpike, and 
established a line of sloops, which traded between their place and 
the Battery. The gallant captain must have had a large vein of 
poetry in his being, because he named his grant "Zegendal," or 
" The Vale of Blessing." It is a pity that his prosaic descendants 
did not preserve the charming phrase. With true Dutch careless- 
ness, they named it Pieterson's Flatts, which it remained for 
several generations, after which it was known, with the other 
grants, as New Haarlem, and then Harlem. In the growth of 
cities, poetry seems to have very little chance of longevity. Hen- 
drick apparently thrived in Harlem, as may be inferred from the 
town records. 

In the second generation, Jan Hendricksen was the most 
important personage. He owned property on both sides of the 
East River, and seems to have been a man of unusual j an the 

ability. He was tutor of the children of Hendrick Tutor 

Bastiaense. A tutor under the ancient regime corresponded to the 
modern guardian. He was trustee of the infant's estate, custodian 
of its property, and, in addition, its teacher and friend. Guardian- 
ship in those days had a larger element of personality than at the 
present time. The wards were members of the tutor's family, 
and enjoyed the rights of the latter's children, and owed the same 
duties. In nearly all instances, they became inmates of the 
guardian's home. The authorities did not permit a tutorship, 
excepting where the applicant was qualified in every way to 
discharge properly the functions of the office. 

Jan, or John, was a busy member of the community, and 
enjoyed a fitting share of the honors of his little world. In 1678 
he was Overseer; in 1686, Constable; in 1691, "Authorized Man"; 
in 1697, Surveyor of Highways, and in 1702 Assistant Alderman 
for the Out Ward, and filled the same office from 1707 to 1713. 
He married Annetje Bastiaense, the daughter of Bastiaen Ellisen, 
from whom he received a large amount of real estate. He left 
four children. 

Hendrick, his brother, was a prosperous farmer, who married 
twice: first, Mary ken Van Couwenhoven, daughter of Johannes 

38 Brevoort 

Couwenhoven, a rich land-owner, and, secondly, Jaquemyntje 
Boke. He had eight children. 

During the next three generations the history of the family 
was uneventful. It followed the old Dutch traditions, which were 
marked by rare wisdom. Although nearly all the male descend- 
ants were farmers, yet, in pursuance of the ancestral custom, each 
was taught some trade. This will explain what often puzzles 
readers: why a farmer owning broad acres is referred to here and 
there as a weaver, carpenter, wheelwright, builder, or blacksmith. 
The exigencies of life in the Old World had compelled every 
community to depend at times upon its own unaided resources. 
Inundation, the breaking of the dikes, or invasion by foreign foes, 
frequently isolated a town or city, when, without these accom- 
plishments, there would have been much suffering. It was, 
therefore, a part of the good Dutch education that every male 
citizen should be a master of one useful trade in addition to 
his ordinary occupation. With the women the rule was even 
stricter. Nearly every girl was obliged to study kitchen-garden- 
ing, spinning, bleaching, weaving, sewing, the care of poultry, 
and the management of the dairy. 

Under these conditions, it is little wonder the Brevoorts pros- 
pered. They accumulated property; their estates widened; they 
loaned money, and became interested in local, and even general, 
ventures. Their homes reflected their success — growing larger, 
more elegant, and attractive. The inherited physical vigor and 
the thorough domestic education of the daughters made them 
much sought after in marriage, and many of them contracted alli- 
ances of the best nature. It was one of their race, Sarah Todd, 
who was wooed and won by John Jacob Astor, and who, accord- 
ing to that great merchant and financier, had a better business 
genius even than he. Mr. Astor himself once said that upon 
several occasions, when he had called her from her domestic 
duties to advise him in regard to business enterprises, she had 
charged and he had paid $500 an hour for her time, and that 
the money thus expended proved a very handsome investment. 

The Brevoorts do not seem to have had any desire to estab- 

Brevoort 39 

lish great estates, as did many of their neighbors. They made 
generous allowances to their children, both sons and daughters, 
and regarded the welfare of the latter as equal to their own. In 
their wills they generally divided their estates equally, and if 
they expressed any preference it was in favor of daughters and 
sickly sons rather than of the strong men who might build up a 
great family establishment. They were active in religious life, 
their names appearing in church building, visiting work, synod 
meetings, charitable subscriptions, and lists of church officers. 
Several enjoyed local renown. John [17 15] was the johnthe 
first goldsmith in the metropolis, and earned high Goldsmith 
praise by his beautiful designs in jewelry. Many of his concep- 
tions are still preserved and bear witness to his skill and artistic 
talents. His daughter Charlotte [1740] was a famous belle and 
heiress, who was courted by many suitors and won by the Hon. 
Whitehead Hicks, Mayor of New York (1766-1773). 

Hendrick, his brother [171 1], was a wealthy land-owner, who 
married Catharine Delamater, a member of the renowned Hugue- 
not family of that name, by whom he had eight children. 

In the next generation, Henry [1747], son of Hendrick, mar- 
ried Sarah, daughter of Captain Whetten, by whom he had issue. 
He was a man of means and high intelligence, who was promi- 
nent in the society of the period. 

Henry II. [1791], son of Henry I., inherited great wealth and 
led a life of leisure. He had strong literary tastes, and in several 
instances displayed skill with the pen. He was un- Henry 11., 
ambitious in the world of letters, and found his chief Litterateur 
pleasure in the society of writers and artists, of whom he was a 
munificent patron. Authorship was not a remunerative vocation 
in the beginning of the nineteenth century, and the few who ob- 
tained eminence underwent privation, and even distress, except- 
ing where they inherited enough wealth to be independent. 
They depended more upon the liberality of men like Brevoort 
than upon the patronage of the public for their daily bread. He 
was a friend of the great Scotch genius, Sir Walter Scott, and the 
lifelong friend of Washington Irving, for whom his affection was 

4o Brevoort 

like that of a brother. To Henry, Irving owed much of his fame 
and happiness. At times in his career when fortune frowned, 
Brevoort was always by his side, ready to support him or to beat 
back the tide of adversity. 

He was one of the first to perceive the high literary value of 
Knickerbocker's History of New York, and took pains to send 
copies to those who, in his opinion, could appreciate it justly, 
and thus aid the career of the author. He presented one to Sir 
Walter Scott, who acknowledged it in the following words : 

"I beg you to accept my best thanks for the uncommon 
degree of entertainment which I have received from the most 
excellently written history of New York. I am sensible that, as 
a stranger to American parties and politics, 1 must lose much of 
the concealed satire of the work ; but I must own that, looking 
at the simple and obvious meaning only, I have never seen any- 
thing so closely resembling the style of Dean Swift as the an- 
nals of Diedrich Knickerbocker. 1 have been employed these few 
evenings in reading them aloud to Mrs. Scott and two ladies who 
are our guests, and our sides have been absolutely sore with 
laughing. 1 think, too, there are passages which indicate that 
the author possesses power of a different kind, and has some 
touches which remind me of Sterne. I beg you will have the 
kindness to let me know when Mr. Irving takes pen in hand 
again, for assuredly I shall expect a very great treat, which I may 
chance never to hear of but through your kindness." 

He was a good citizen and patriot, serving many years with 
marked efficiency as a Common Councilman of New York. 

Another distinguished member of this generation was Cap- 
tain Henry of the Detroit Branch. At the breaking out of the 
captain War of 1812, he enlisted, and served with high dis- 
Henry tinction in General Hull's army, where he rose to be 

commander of a flotilla of small vessels which the Government 
had placed upon the Great Lakes for military purposes. Here he 
showed himself as good a seaman as he was a soldier. He in- 
flicted damage upon the British, captured five of their warships, 
took many prizes, and harassed the Canadian frontier until it was 

Brevoort 41 

in a state of chronic terror. He received hearty praise from 
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, who declared, it is said, that 
much of his success was due to the untiring and invaluable 
efforts of Captain Henry. 

In the sixth generation the family produced its finest type. 
This was James Carson [18 18], the historian and savant. His 
education was unusual for his time, beginning in New jamescarson 
York, continuing in France and Switzerland, and clos- the Scholar 
ing at the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris, where 
he took a three-years' course, graduating with the degree of civil 
engineer. On his return home, he passed a year at the West 
Point Foundry, gaining a practical knowledge of the manufacture 
of iron and steel. In 1841, he was engaged upon the Northeast 
Boundary Survey, under Professor James Renwick. The following 
year he accompanied Washington Irving, who was United States 
Minister to Spain, as private secretary and attache of the Legation. 
In 1844, he settled in Brooklyn, where he immediately became 
conspicuous in public affairs. For thirty years he led an ideally 
busy life. Among the positions he occupied were: member of 
the Charter Convention and of the Board of Education; Secretary 
of the Board of Water Commissioners; trustee of Greenwood 
Cemetery; a founder and trustee of the Long Island Historical So- 
ciety, of which he was also President; Chairman of the Executive 
Committee and director and trustee of the Astor Library, and two 
years its superintendent ; member of the Lyceum of Natural His- 
tory, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 
the Archaeological Society of Madrid, the Entomological Societies 
of Baltimore and Philadelphia, the Academy of Natural Sciences 
of Philadelphia, the National Institute of Washington, the Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Society, and at least a score of other learned 
bodies. He was a regent of the University of the State of New 
York. A fluent, scholarly, and brilliant writer, he wrote copiously 
upon historic, scientific, linguistic, cartographic, bibliographic, and 
other topics, and enjoyed the deserved reputation of being the 
nearest approach to a living cyclopaedia that could be found in 
the New World. He married Elizabeth Dorothea, daughter of the 

42 Brevoort 

Hon. Leffert Lefferts, by whom he had Henry Leffert, who mar- 
ried Elizabeth Schermerhorn. 

Laura, daughter of Henry and sister of James Carson, was 
noted for her intellectual and social grace. She married Charles 
Astor Bristed, the poet and journalist. 

To this generation belongs James Renwick [1832], the painter 

and art critic. He studied art in the United States and Europe, 

spending his time in England, Holland, Italy, and 

James r o o j > 

Renwick, France. He made a special study of mathematical per- 
spective, and in 1872 was made professor of that sub- 
ject at the National Academy. He was most successful in the 
depiction of landscapes, many of his canvases being noted in the 
art world. 

The Brevoorts as a race have represented quiet industry, 
wealth, and culture. They have tended toward the graces and 
beauties of life, and have excelled along the lines of the social and 
moral traits. In this they carry out the spirit ot the Netherlands, 
which, while devoted to industry, peace, and commerce, never- 
theless flowers in great thinkers, scholars, and artists. 


> t 


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° 5 
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I E S C L 


S long as the Revolution is remembered, 
the name of Clinton will be a house- 
hold word. An entire chapter of 
colonial history is summed up in the 
sentence of the Rev. John L. Blake, 
written more than sixty years ago, 
that " He (Brig.-Gen. James Clinton) 
commanded under Governor Clinton 
at Fort Clinton, from which, when 
attacked and taken by Sir Henry 
Clinton, General Clinton, though se- 
verely wounded, escaped." 
Each of the Clintons named in this clumsy phrase belonged 
to the same family. All alike were descended from the Earls of 
Lincoln. The British General, son of the Admiral, held his posi- 
tion by virtue of birth as well as ability, but his American cousins 
had won their prominence by individual power and prowess. 
The break-up of the family took place in the troublous days of 
King Charles I. Here, William Clinton, a member of the Earl of 
Lincoln's family and a warm adherent of the unhappy English 
monarch, fled the realm and settled in Ireland, where the peas- 
antry gave him a warm welcome and protection against his foes. 
His grandson, Charles Clinton [born 1690], was a man of great 
ambition and energy. He chafed under the harsh rule and miser- 
able condition of Ireland, and on May 20, 1729, with relatives and 

46 Clinton 

friends, chartered a ship and sailed for the New World. On the 
voyage they discovered that the captain and other officers had 
conspired against them and intended to kill them. Clinton 
promptly organized his associates, and after a long and bitter ar- 
gument with the skipper agreed to pay the latter an extra sum if 
they were landed in safety. They disembarked at Cape Cod 
October 4, worked their way to Mew York, and followed the tide 
of emigration, then moving northward to Ulster County, where 
Charles Clinton founded his new home. 

His neighbors were Englishmen and Palatines, while over 

them were the Patroons and other Dutch land-owners. Of his 

fellow-countrymen, the majority had come out to ob- 

Charles J ' J J 

tain the liberty that was denied them at home. The 
Palatines had left Germany for the same reason, and also to find 
a land in which they would not be crushed by taxation. Under 
these auspices it was but natural that Clinton, who had soon be- 
come a Justice of the Peace, or " Squire," should have developed 
a strong democratic spirit. He married Elizabeth Denniston, by 
whom he had seven children. He transmitted his characteristics 
to his children, who had the special advantage of living in a wild 
country, where game abounded and where the necessities of daily 
life developed strong and vigorous bodies. Four of his sons 
proved worthy of their sire. The first, Alexander, entered the 
medical profession, and won laurels in its exercise. The second, 
Charles, followed the same career, but died prematurely. He 
enlisted as a surgeon in the war that England waged against 
Spain, and was a member of the colonial and British expedition 
which attacked Havana. Here he lost his life fighting side by 
side with his English cousins. The third son, James [1736], 
james better known as "the Brigadier," was the soldier of 

the Brigadier foe family. He was a strong revolutionist, and was 
one of the first in the Empire State to take arms against the Crown. 
He fought through the Revolution with great gallantry, and took 
part in campaigns against the British, the Indians, and half-breeds, 
and finally in the admirable military movement which resulted in 
the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. He married, first, 

George Clinton 

Governor of New York in 1 789. From the painting by 
Ezra Ames 

New York City Hall 

Clinton 47 

Mary De Witt, by whom he had seven children ; and second, 
Mrs. Mary Little Gray, by whom he had three. 

The fourth son, George Clinton, was the greatest of his gen- 
eration and one of the greatest of the republic. He was born in 
1739, was educated to the law, and when twenty-six George 

years of age was made a member of the provincial theGovernor 
Assembly. In the fall of that year he was chosen a member of 
the Colonial Congress. He was intensely active in the revolu- 
tionary movement and voted for the Declaration of Independence. 
He was to have been one of the signers, but before that famous 
instrument was engrossed he received his appointment as brig- 
adier-general, and departed upon military duty. He always 
referred to this incident as the saddest event of his life. In 1777, 
he had so impressed himself upon the minds of the people of 
New York that he received the unique distinction of being elected 
Governor and Lieutenant-Governor. He accepted the former and 
was re-elected five times. He was again elected in 1801 and in 
1804 became Vice-President of the United States, which he re- 
mained until his death in 181 2. This record of eighteen years as 
Governor and eight as Vice-President is without precedent in our 
history. In his gubernatorial career he displayed the same en- 
ergy as in his military work. He was foremost in all the enter- 
prises of his time. He took part in the re-establishment of the 
municipality of New York in 1784. He favored the creation of the 
Bank of New York in 1791, and the abolition of slavery in 1799. 

He participated in the inauguration of General George Wash- 
ington in the metropolis, which took place in Wall Street, and 
escorted the President to his "elegant city residence at No. 3 
Cherry Street." His most enduring work is seen perhaps in the 
two old forts on Governor's Island. The Revolution had scarcely 
closed when he urged the fortification of the port. He encoun- 
tered the opposition of the conservative and the apathetic. Un- 
discouraged by rebuffs, he kept up the agitation, interested his 
friends and followers in the project, and by degrees built up a 
strong public feeling in its favor. Before he left the Governor's 
chair to go to Washington as Vice-President one strong earthwork 

48 Clinton 

was finished, and on his last visit to the future metropolis he saw 
his hopes fully realized. It seems strange to-day, when modern 
rifle-cannon hurl projectiles ten or twelve miles, to look at the 
defences which pleased the doughty soldier-statesman — two little 
forts upon Governor's Island and a battery of small cannon in Bat- 
tery Park. Yet these were probably sufficient to hold off the war- 
ships of the time. 

The old State papers show that the Governor was keenly 
alive to the commercial prosperity of the State. He favored all 
bills which he thought would be of benefit to the people, and, so 
far as can be seen to-day, he was progressive almost to radicalism. 
At the same time, he had a well-balanced mind and a keen 
knowledge of human nature. He never went to extremes and 
never incurred the more bitter degrees of opposition. So far as 
the Empire State is concerned, the most significant event in his 
career was his trip in the summer of 1 783 with the President. Gen- 
eral Washington, according to tradition, had intended to limit his 
journey to the military posts, terminating it at the fort at 
Oswego, but, following the suggestion of the Governor, he visited 
the chiefs of the Senecas, Cayugas, and Tuscaroras. There was 
at the time a widespread feeling that the Indians might go on the 
war-path, and Clinton, with remarkable foresight, thought that 
by having Washington visit them he could bring about an amic- 
able feeling which would be of the greatest benefit to the State. 
Subsequent events demonstrated the Governor's sagacity. 

It was upon this trip that the idea of a canal connecting, to 
use Washington's words, "the Great Lakes with tide-water," was 
first broached. Washington, in addition to his many other abili- 
ties, was a skilful civil engineer, and with his trained eye easily 
saw the possibilities offered by the Hudson and Mohawk valleys. 
The Governor, though not an engineer, was a man of learning 
and practical sense. He quickly perceived the grandeur of the 
design, and from that time on was an advocate of a plan based 
upon Washington's suggestions. The common belief that De Witt 
Clinton was the first to suggest the project of a canal between 
the lakes and the Hudson is not strictly accurate; although un- 

De Witt Clinton 

From the painting by Inman, owned by E. Abdy Hurry, Esq. 

Entrance of the Canal into the Hudson at Albany 

From an old print 

Clinton 49 

doubtedly the plan of carrying a watercourse across the State to 
Lake Erie is to be put to his credit. Two years later, when 
Christopher Colles, the eccentric inventor, memorialized the Legis- 
lature for a canal, the scheme received the support of the Governor. 
In 1792, a company was chartered which, in the course of five 
years, built a waterway from Schenectady to Oneida. Here 
it stopped for lack of money. The times were hard, money 
scarce, and people were afraid to invest in what they called "a 
ditch for the Indians to paddle their canoes in." It was during 
this period that De Witt Clinton served as private secretary to 
the Governor, and he must have heard and doubtless discussed 
the canal project in all its phases. It cannot be said that George 
Clinton was as able a politician as he was a soldier, patriot, states- 
man, or Executive. As with most of the great men of his period, 
the Presidential bee buzzed loudly in his bonnet. In 1789, he re- 
ceived three electoral votes for President of the United States. In 
1792, he received fifty, while the other two Republican candidates, 
Jefferson and Burr, obtained but four and one respectively. In 
1796, Jefferson and Burr had shot far ahead, the first receiving 
sixty-eight, the second thirty, and Clinton only seven. In 1800 
was the famous tie between Jefferson and Burr, and Clinton re- 
ceived no votes. In 1804, he had a following, but Jefferson's popu- 
larity was so great that Clinton contented himself with the second 
place on the ticket. In 1808, Madison took the mantle which fell 
from Jefferson's shoulders, receiving one hundred and twenty-two 
votes, while Clinton received only six. The Electoral College 
then made him Vice-President as if to compensate him for his dis- 
appointment. He married Cornelia Tappan, by whom he had six 

In the third generation, there were only three of the family 
who achieved distinction. One was George Clinton, Jr., son of 
the Governor, who served two terms in the New York State As- 
sembly and three in the House of Representatives. He was a 
graduate of Columbia College [1793], a man of great culture and 
refinement, but does not appear to have been marked by signal 
force. Charles Clinton, son of Gen. James Clinton, was famous 

so Clinton 

in the early part of the century as a traveller and writer. He 
enjoyed considerable popularity at the time, but his work, except 
by a few, has been forgotten. 

The giant of the generation was De Witt Clinton, son of Gen. 
James Clinton. Over his position in New York history there has 
Dewut been a fierce fight, which is not altogether settled 
the statesman to-day. Even those who detract from his greatness 
admit that he was one of the most powerful and influential men 
who ever lived in the Empire State. He was born in 1769, and 
was the first student to enter Columbia College after it had 
relinquished its former name of King's College. He was graduated 
in the class of '86, first among the honor men. He studied law, 
but regarded it as an accomplishment rather than as a profession. 
He was naturally adapted to public life, and up to the time of his 
death occupied a commanding position in national affairs. He 
was elected to the Senate of New York in 1799. Here he made 
his mark instantly, proving himself to be a skilful parliamentarian, 
a graceful and polished speaker, and a forceful debater. On the 
other hand, he was haughty, self-willed, and devoid of the diplo- 
matic sense upon which is based the highest political success. In 
1802, when only thirty-three years of age, he was elected to the 
United States Senate. For some personal reason, he resigned 
his high office in 1803 to become Mayor of the city of New York. 
This office he held, excepting two years, until 181 s. While 
Mayor, he was for several years a State Senator and Lieutenant- 
Governor. During this period he showed himself to be a man of 
public spirit and lofty ideals. He was one of the founders of the 
Historical Society and the Academy of Arts. He was practically 
the creator of the present City Hall. In 1812, he was the Fed- 
eralist candidate for President, as opposed to Madison, and re- 
ceived eighty-nine electoral votes. In the campaign of that year 
the Republicans favored war with Great Britain, while the Fed- 
eralists were really or nominally in favor of peace. Clinton became 
known as the "Peace candidate," and the name stuck to him 
through life. It is said to have injured his political prospects and 
prevented his ever attaining the position which his abilities merited. 

Clinton 51 

In 18 16 he was appointed Canal Commissioner and President of 
the Board. In 1818 he was made Governor. From the moment 
of his election he took up the cause of public education and in- 
ternal improvements. During this term and the one which fol- 
lowed he did invaluable service for the public schools, the canals, 
and roads. Much of the excellence of the schools of the State 
dates from this period. 

In 1822, he declined renomination as Governor, but continued 
to act as President of the Canal Board until 1824. He made many 
enemies, and, according to the politicians of the day, he used the 
canals as if they were his own private property. As a matter of 
fact, he simply offended party leaders by refusing to give them 
any patronage upon the public works. All other charges have 
long since been dismissed as worthless. His enemies were vin- 
dictive, and in 1824 induced the Legislature, which was composed 
mostly of weak men, to remove him from the Canal Board without 
either charges or trial. This action aroused general indignation, 
and he was at once nominated for Governor and elected by a 
majority of 16,000 — a phenomenal vote for that time. The fol- 
lowing year the Erie Canal was finished, and a celebration took 
place which was the wonder of the nation. He was re-elected in 
1826, and died at the close of his term, two years later. There are 
many remains of his literary and oratorical work, all of which was 
marked by high thought, sentiment, and wisdom. He had a 
penchant for delivering addresses before learned societies, and 
was without doubt the most popular speaker of his time. 

The Clintons have been marked for generations by unusual 
physical beauty. This quality reached its climax in the famous 
Governor. He was referred to in his youth as "Apollo," and 
" Antinous," and even toward the close of his life he was so 
handsome that he attracted attention wherever he went. It 
suited his temperament, and made it seem natural for him to be 
ever on dress parade. His enemies denounced him as a poser, 
but the great common people paid no attention to the charge, 
and rather gloried in the physical and intellectual superiority 
of their Governor. He exerted a profound influence upon the 

52 Clinton 

commonwealth. He was a fearless fighter, and at the very be- 
ginning of his career engaged in a political duel. He had an 
intense love for New York, both city and State. 

De Witt was twice married: first, to Maria Franklin, by whom 
he had ten children, and second, to Catherine Jones. 

The fourth generation was well represented by Dr. Alexander, 
son of Charles, who was an eminent physician in the middle of 
the last century. From 1846 to 1878 he was an officer of the 
New York State Society of the Cincinnati. 

Of the fifth generation, the leading representatives are : Alex- 
ander James, son of Dr. Alexander, and treasurer of the New York 
State Society of the Cincinnati; Spencer and George, both sons 
of George; Julia Clinton Jones and De Witt Clinton Jones, children 
of Mary. 

The family has held its own through the years. The number 
of those who bear the name has increased steadily, while through 
marriage it has become connected with scores of distinguished 

The tendency of the male line has been towards the profes- 
sions; many of these have won renown in medicine, pedagogy, 
art, politics, and law. One is an architect of high repute, whose 
creations have added beauty to the metropolis. They have held 
warm places in the public heart, their name being a favorite term 
in personal and municipal nomenclature. 




2^§)HE pioneers of the early colonies were 
from the first divided into two classes: 
one marked by a strong family feeling 
which expressed itself in the forma- 
tion of estates ; the use of the law 
or custom of primogeniture, and the 
close connection of the members of a 
stock to the land or district on which 
they were born; and the other by an 
intense individualism which prompted 
each child upon reaching manhood's 
estate to begin life for himself and start 
his own family, irrespective of ancestral relations or of fraternal 

In the main, the Dutch belonged to the former and the Eng- 
lish to the latter type. The patroons were the highest develop- 
ment of the one, while the other flowered in soldiers, inventors, 
philanthropists, and great professional men. An opposite example 
of the latter class is the Cornell family of New York State. It 
is of English origin, and, according to the genealogists, came to 
England in the Norman period from Brittany in France. Like 
most families of Anglo-Norman origin, there was but little uni- 
formity in the spelling of the name for many generations. 

Among the variants found in the records are Cornell, Cornhill, 
Cornil, Cornehill, Cornwell, Cornewell, Cornwall, and Cornewall. 

56 Cornell 

When the founder of the New York branch came to Long Island, 
he spelled his name Cornhill and thereafter Cornwell, and it was 
not until the eighteenth century that the major portion of the 
Long Island family adopted Cornell as their patronymic. 

The first generation consisted of two brothers and a cousin, 
who came to New England about 1635. They stayed but a short 
William of time upon the Massachusetts coast. William then 
Connecticut j e fl. f or ^q West, married, and settled in Middletown, 
Conn., where he had numerous children, whose descendants, 
several hundred in number, constitute the Cornwell family of 
that State. Thomas, the cousin, went still further west and 
Thomas of settled in Gravesend, Long Island, now a part of 
Gravesend Brooklyn, where he died in 1650, leaving only 

The other Thomas removed to Portsmouth, Rhode Island, in 
1640, where the same year he was made a freeman under the name 
Thomas of of Thomas Cornil. Hearing of the fertility of the coun- 
portsmouth ^y a b ou t New Amsterdam, he went with a number 
of adventurers under Captain Throckmorton in [643 to Throgg's 
Neck, N. Y., where the party was driven away by an Indian 
tribe living in the neighborhood. Undaunted by his repulse, 
he went on to New Amsterdam, where he received a grant of 
land in Westchester from Governor William Kieft. He does not 
seem to have utilized this grant, because he returned shortly 
afterwards to Portsmouth, where he remained until his death 
in 1656. He married Rebecca Briggs, by whom he had nine 

Two of his sons removed from Rhode Island to Long Island; 
Richard [1630] settling in Flushing, and John [1637] in Cove 
Richard the Neck, L. I. Richard was a shrewd man of affairs and 
Deputy became a freeholder before he was thirty years of age. 

In 1665, he was one of the two deputies from Flushing to a con- 
vention of delegates from sixteen towns on Long Island and the 
town of Westchester, called by Governor Richard Nicolls to pass 
" laws and ordinances to effect a uniform mode for administrating 
in the plantations on Long Island." 

Cornell 57 

In the next year, when Governor Nicolls issued a patent for the 
town of Flushing, the two chief patentees were John Lawrence, 
alderman of New York, and Richard Cornhill, Justice of the Peace. 
He bought various tracts of real estate, selecting the land in every 
case with extreme prudence. In the latter part of his life, he 
removed from Flushing to Rockaway, of which village he was 
the head until his death. He was tenacious as to his rights, and 
at one time had a memorable altercation with the gubernatorial 
chair at New York. Both sides appealed to the Privy Council at 
Westminster, where the resolute Justice presented so admirable 
a case that the Crown affirmed his contention. He married and 
had five sons and three daughters. 

Thomas [1620?] of this generation remained at the home- 
stead in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, where he married and raised 
a large family. He was the ancestor of Fzra Cornell, the philan- 
thropist, and of Governor Alonzo B. Cornell. 

In the third generation, the sons of Richard proved prosper- 
ous and influential. Richard II., the oldest, settled in Success, 
Long Island, where he had a large family. Captain 

° Capt. William 

William remained in Rockaway, as did his brothers, 
Squire Thomas and Colonel John. Squire Jacob moved to Rye, 
and afterwards to New Jersey, where he founded the New Jersey 
branch of his race. 

The fourth generation was a period of calm and growth. All 
of the branches had careers marked by health and material wel- 
fare. The records show that their farms and business enterprises 
paid well and enabled them to purchase holdings of real estate 
from time to time, while the official archives reveal them as 
being active in public affairs. They served on committees, pre- 
sided at town meetings, and were highway commissioners, 
school trustees, and foremen of grand juries. 

Thomas, of this generation, married, First, Miss Smith, and 
second, Charity Hicks, by whom he had four sons and three 
daughters. He added to the Rockaway estate, which Thomas, 
jn his time became one of the leading properties in Assemblyman 
Queens County. He served in the General Assembly from 1739 

5« Cornell 

to 1759, and from 1761 to 1764. To this generation belongs 
Ezekiel, the Rhode Island patriot, who served as lieutenant-colonel 
General in Hitchcock's Regiment in the Continental army, and 
Ezekiei rose to k e brigadier-general of the Rhode Island troops. 
In 1789, the State authorities made him their delegate to Congress. 
The fifth generation produced many actors in the War of 
Independence. Here the Cornells were strongly divided. Three 
of the Queens County men were loyalists and two, especially 
Captain Thomas, won distinction by their bravery. 

Capt. Thomas r > J J 

After the war, he and his brother removed to Anna- 
polis, while his oldest son, who had been a Revolutionist, remained 
on Long Island. The condition of the family during that long 
struggle must have been very dramatic. In one branch two 
brothers were arrayed against each other, and in another a father 
and grandson were Revolutionists, while the son was a loyalist. 

It made the struggle all the more bitter and terrible, but at 
the same time enabled the combatants to display touches of gal- 
lantry and chivalry. Thus, on one occasion, tradition says, when 
Captain Thomas was ordered to forage upon the estates of his 
kindred upon a certain date, he sent a trusted messenger in ad- 
vance, notifying them of the fact, and begging them to take to the 
woods that day and have a picnic. Lieutenant John, on the other 
hand, sent a note to his cousin William that the latter's post was 
exposed to the rifle-fire of the minute-men, and entreating him as 
a matter of affection to move his quarters behind a small hill in 
the immediate neighborhood. 

The family must have had many good sporting men in its 
ranks, because they still have the printed notices of races in ante- 
Revolutionary days. One of these is full of unconscious humor. 
It reads as follows : " 1771 — Beaver Pond Races ; — Purse £2*,. for 
any horse except Whitehead Cornell's horse ' Steady ' and Timo- 
thy Cornell's horse 'Richmond.'" The Hon. Whitehead was 
Hon. a strong and resolute character. During the Revolu- 

whitehead t j on j ie remained neutral, extending courtesy to both 
rebels and royalists. He thought both were wrong and that the 
evils of the time should have been treated by peaceful means. 

Cornell 59 

He had the courage of his convictions, and frequently got into 
danger by his denunciation of "both houses." Yet his strong 
common sense and goodness of heart kept alive the affection of 
his neighbors, and when the war was over he was one of the 
first who was sent to the State Assembly, serving in that body 
during the years 1788, 1789, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1798, and 1799. He 
married Abigail B. Hicks, by whom he had nine children, the 
sons being Whitehead II., Charles, George, Jacob, Thomas, and 

In this generation there was a change in the family character. 
Before this time they had been farmers and landed proprietors, 
not alone upon Long Island, but also in Westchester County, N. 
Y., Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. They now 
began to turn toward the professions, mercantile life, and to 
invention and discovery. Thomas, son of Whitehead, was noted 
for his mechanical skill, and made many improvements Thomas 
in farming and other fields of industry. What is theInventor 
more, he transmitted his genius to his six sons, all of whom 
in after years became celebrated for their mechanical ability. 
John, cousin of Thomas, was a wealthy New York j 0hn 

merchant in the early part of the nineteenth century. the Merchant 

The seventh generation was numerous, and took an enviable 
place in the public eye. The greatest of all was Ezra [1807], of 
the Westchester branch. His education was that of Ez ra, 

the public schools, but his patience and talent made Philanthropist 
him one of the great scholars of the country. He settled, when a 
young man, in Ithaca, N. Y., where he began life's labor as a mill 
manager. His first noted achievement was the designing and 
construction of a tunnel, at Fall Creek, N. Y., for the utilization of 
water-power, it being the first of its kind in the United States. 
Shortly after this, he became associated with Morse, the elec- 
trician, and was soon an expert in what was then a virgin field of 
enterprise. He superintended the erection of the first telegraph 
line, which was between Washington and Baltimore [1844]. Its 
success brought him hundreds of orders, and the new business 
which he had begun under the most discouraging auspices rapidly 

60 Cornell 

brought him a great fortune. With a number of friends and 
business acquaintances he founded the Western Union Telegraph 
Company, and for twenty years was one of its directors. He was 
liberal and progressive in his policy, and was largely instrumental 
in making that corporation the vast power it subsequently be- 
came. His life was intensely active. 

Beside keeping in touch with the rapid development of elec- 
trical science and industry, he was at the head of political and 
agricultural movements. His statesmanship was shown by his 
record as Assemblyman in 1862-1863, and as State Senator in 
1864-1868. His monument is Cornell University, which ex- 
pressed his conception of the highest type of an educational 
establishment. This, according to his own words, should be 
"an institution where any person can find instruction in any 
study." The growth of this famous school is memorable. 
Founded in 1868, it has now 3000 students, a library of 250,000 
volumes, productive funds of about $7,000,000, and an annual 
income of over $800,000. 

John Black [1825], who was a talented inventor, became an 
iron founder in this city, and started, with his brother George, a 
John Black, business which grew into the largest of its class in the 
inventor world. Into it he took as a partner his brother Wil- 
liam W. [1823]. The union was eventful, the creative genius of 
the younger being aided and supplemented by the business abil- 
wiiiiam w., ity and executive talent of the seniors. The improve- 
Manufacturer men ts and inventions devised by this firm, and the 
novel conceptions in building, fireproofing, and decorating which 
they introduced, marked a new era in the history of architecture. 
Builders were quick to perceive the advantages of the inventions 
and to apply them to the large edifices of the metropolis and 
thereafter of the country, and even foreign lands. The first fire- 
proof buildings erected in the New World were upon the plans 
first formulated by the Cornells, and the matchless structures of 
to-day, ranging from church domes to sky-scrapers, are the out- 
growth of their contributions to the builder's art. William W. 
accumulated vast wealth, of which he gave with munificent hand 

Cornell 61 

to churches, charities, and reformatories. The public gift by 
which he will be longest remembered, is Cornell College at 
Mount Vernon, la., which he founded in 1857. To-day it has 
seven hundred students, a library of twenty thousand volumes, 
and an income of $35,000 a year. 

John Black was noted for his public spirit and benevolence. 
He was a generous member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
a fearless abolitionist, and a leader in the cause of temperance. 
The latter part of his life he gave most of his time and much of 
his wealth to educational, religious, and philanthropic enterprises. 
He was a member or trustee of a score of organizations con- 
nected with his denomination. Among other services rendered, 
he was President for fourteen years of the New York City Church 
Extension and Missionary Society and President of the Board of 
Trustees of the Drew Theological Seminary. 

Isaac Russell [1805], son of John and Sarah Cortilyou of 
Brooklyn, was a merchant and landed proprietor. He was so- 
cially prominent in New York in the first half of the nineteenth 

Another great man of this generation was Dr. William Mason 
[1802], the physician. He was graduated from Brown [1827], 
studied theology, and was ordained [1830], and occu- Dr WilIiara 
pied a pulpit until 1839. His health failing, he took Mason, the 
up the study of medicine, was graduated [1844] from 
the Berkshire Medical School, and began active practice at Bos- 
ton. On account of his skill and fame, he received an offer of 
the chair of anatomy and physiology in the Western University, 
which he accepted. He is best known by his publication, The 
Journal of Health, and to the profession by his scholarly work, 
The Medical Dictionary. 

The eighth generation produced many celebrated characters. 
The foremost, politically, was Alonzo B. (1832), son of Ezra. He 
began life as a telegraph operator and electrician, from Governor 
which he went into finance and politics. He held Alonzo b. 
numerous positions of honor, being Supervisor, nominee for Lieu- 
tenant-Governor, member of the Assembly (1873), Chairman of 

62 Cornell 

the Republican State Committee, "Naval Officer for the Port of 
New York, and Governor of the State of New York. His guber- 
natorial administration won him the love and esteem of all, ex- 
cepting protessional spoilsmen and politicians. He cut out the 
sinecures, made numberless economies, vetoed all questionable 
appropriation bills, recommended the creation of a State Board of 
Health and a State Railroad Commission, and urged the eligibility 
of women for school officers, the establishment of a reformatory 
for women, and a common-sense modification of the usury laws. 

John Henry [1828] was the musician of his race. His talents 
were appreciated in his youth, and, when a young man, he was 
john Henry, made organist of St. John's Chapel, New York. The 
composer following year he went abroad and pursued his studies 
in the cathedral cities. From 1868 to 1877 he was the organist of 
St. Paul's Chapel, New York, and from 1877 to 1882 of the Brick 
Church, New York. He wrote six standard works on music, 
and many compositions for ecclesiastical use. 

The Reverend John [1839], son of Isaac Russell, was gradu- 
ated from Princeton (iSso), where he received the degree of 
Rev.john, M.A. (1852). He entered the General Theological 
Evangelist Seminary, and was graduated and ordained in 1803. 
The larger part of his life was spent in foreign travel and resi- 
dence, in which he performed much efficient missionary work. 
For nearly eighteen years he was rector of the American Epis- 
copal Church at Nice, France. He married Margaret Katharine 
Osterburg. The Reverend Doctor owns the old estate of his first 
ancestor at Portsmouth, R. I. 

John M. [1846], son of John Black, was educated at Mount 
Washington Collegiate Institute. He learned the working of iron 
john m., an d steel in his father's establishment, and shortly after 
philanthropist was taken into the concern as a partner. He is now 
the sole head, and owner of the house. He is very prominent in 
philanthropic, educational, and social affairs. 
Dr. Edward Other members of distinction in this generation are : 

Everett Doctor Edward Everett, of the Cornwall branch, who 
was graduated from Wesley (1887), and from the College of Phy- 


o I 

< - 

2 I 



O 2 


Cornell 63 

sicians and Surgeons (Columbia, 1890); Doctor James Lefferts, 
who was graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons 
(Columbia, 1890), and who was a surgeon in St. Mary's Hospital, 
Brooklyn; George Birdsall, who was graduated from the George Bird . 
Columbia School of Mines (1877), where he took the "".Engineer 
double degree of E.M. and C.E., and who achieved distinction as 
the chief engineer of the East River Bridge Company; Judge Robert 
Clifford, who was graduated from Columbia (1874), Judge 

and the Columbia Law School (1876), and who is a Robert c. 
magistrate of New York City. 

The Cornells have been good examples of the typical Amer- 
ican. From the first they have been marked by mental and 
physical vigor, industry, patience, and practicality. Their work 
has been directed towards the amelioration of daily life. They 
have tended to those callings in which there is a visible or actual 
return for energy expended. They have been great inventors, 
organizers, politicians, manufacturers, and students. Their gospel 
has been that of labor, and their reward has been great. They 
have left a deep impression upon New York City and State, and 
have contributed largely to the progress and prosperity of the 


7o dniQCt 

eminent merchant, from whom is descended the Walton family 
of to-day; Elizabeth [1747] espoused Peter Van Schaack of 
coi. John Kinderhook, a wealthy land-owner. The four sons 
Harr,s W ere active and influential citizens, like their father. 

John Harris [1737J, merchant and real-estate owner, was popular 
in official society, and in 1773 succeeded his father as a member 
of the Royal Council. At the outbreak of the Revolution he was 
Chamberlain of New York and largely interested in trade with 
London. His sympathies were with the Crown, and he became an 
officer in the British army. During the struggle he exhibited the 
highest gallantry, and at times showed marked military talent; but 
for the policy of the British Government in confining martial honor 
and preferment to Englishmen born, he would have been a general. 
As it was, he remained colonel, even after he had won victories and 
displayed soldierly qualities of the highest order. He married Anne 
de Lancey, but had no children. Upon the closing of the war he 
removed to England, where he spent the remainder of his life. 

Henry II. [1739] is better known as Henry the "M. P." In 
1757 he was sent to Bristol, England, and placed in a counting- 
Henry the house to learn commercial business. He displayed 
M ' p * aptitude in these matters, and in a few years had a large 

business of his own. In 1774 he and the great Edmund Burke 
were candidates for Parliament from the city of Bristol. The 
election was fiercely contested, and was marked by a war of 
broadsides, circulars, poems, and songs, in which every penny-a- 
liner was employed by the managers of the political parties. The 
quality of the effusions is exemplified by a popular song of the 
time, of which a stanza follows : 

You good Bristol folk, 

An election 's no joke, 

But serious, indeed, is the work; 

Let none represent ye 

That do not content ye; 

Vote therefore for Cruger and Burke. 

The watchword in Bristol was " Burke, Cruger, and Liberty." 
It is pleasing to know that, in spite of the poetry, the two candi- 

Cruger 7 1 

dates were elected by a handsome majority. His appearance in 
Parliament produced a deep impression. He was the first American 
who belonged to that great assembly, and his maiden speech was 
awaited with deep interest. English society at that time was 
almost as ignorant of its colonies as of the interior of Africa, and 
many Londoners who visited the House of Commons were dis- 
appointed when they found the American member a handsome, 
refined, and well-dressed gentleman, instead of an Indian in war- 
paint and feathers. His first speech won the respect of England. 
It was eloquent in character, moderate and statesmanlike in tone, 
and clear and concise in construction. During his term in Parlia- 
ment he proved himself a warm friend of the colonies, and did all 
he could to aid them in their struggle against what seemed hope- 
less odds. The year 1782 found him Mayor of the city of Bristol. 
In 1 784 he was re-elected to the Commons, and in 1790 he declined 
a re-election and returned to his native city. Two years afterwards 
he was Senator of New York State. In the Senate he sustained 
the reputation he had made in Parliament. Three times did he 
engage in matrimony — his first wife being Miss Peach, daughter 
of a Bristol banker; his second, Elizabeth Blair, by whom he had 
six children; his third, Caroline Smith, by whom he had four 

Telemon [1740], brother of the Parliamentarian, Teiemonthe 
was a thrifty shipping merchant. He married Henrietta importer 
Cressen, by whom he had six children. 

"Nicholas [1743], another brother, was the head of a house 
which did about the largest West Indian trade of the time. In 
his office Alexander Hamilton began his mercantile Nicholas the 
clerkship. He was a warm friend of the latter in Merchant 
later life, as well as of Washington and the great Revolutionary 
leaders. In the war he contributed generously to the colonial 
cause. He was twice arrested and imprisoned for being a rebel. 
One of these arrests occurred when he was sailing out of the 
Delaware River for the West Indies in one of his own ships, 
which was overhauled and captured by a British cruiser, and 
taken as a prize into New York harbor. Rivington, the royal 

72 Cruger 

printer, in announcing the fact to the public stated in his bulleti 
that there was " discovered on board and brought up with th 
tobacco a portrait of Mr. Washington, intended to illuminate th 
parlor of a zealot, one of the above passengers, in the Wes 
Indies," and referred to Cruger as "a dangerous rebel, who ough 
to be taken care of," and recommended his close confinemen 
in prison. 

Fortunately for the captive, he had strong influence in Nev 
York. Henry, one brother, was in Parliament, and John Harris 
his oldest brother, was a colonel in the British army. He had n< 
trouble, therefore, in having himself made a prisoner on parole 
and having his brother-in-law, Jacob Walton, made his jailer 
Rivington, the printer, took umbrage at the disposition made o 
the rebel, and expressed his feelings in several scurrilous remark 
concerning the facts in the case. At the close of the war 
Nicholas was the chief man on the committee which met Wash 
ington in New Jersey and accompanied him on his triumpha 
entry into New York. Several days afterwards he met Rivington 
who approached obsequiously and offered his hand. The sturd; 
merchant turned red in the face, glared a second, and then, seiz 
ing his old opponent, kicked him across the street. He wa 
twice married, first to Anna de Nully, a French woman of nobl 
birth, by whom he had six children, and second to Ann Markoe 
by whom he had one daughter. 

His home was "Rose Hill," on the Bowerie Road, in th< 
neighborhood of what is now Third avenue and Twenty-fourtl 

In the fourth generation, nearly all the members were ol 
social importance. John [1774], son of Henry II., was a citizer 
john the of high social and mercantile prestige at the begin 
Merchant n j n g Q f foe nineteenth century. He married Marth; 
Ramsay, by whom he had nine children. He settled at Cruger's 
in Westchester county. Henry Harris [1778 ?] married his cousin 
Mary Cruger, and settled in Pennsylvania; Matilda Carolina 
[1816] married Chief Justice Thomas J. Oakley, of the Superioi 
Court of New York; Henry Cressen [1784], son of Telemon 

Cruder 73 

married his cousin, Henrietta Julia, and settled in New Orleans, 
where he founded a branch of his race. Other sons were Harris 
['795], Telemon, jr. [1797], George Seymour [1801], and Melville 
Wood [1803]. Bertram Peter [1774], son of Nicholas, lived in 
England, St. Croix, W. I., and New York. He married, first, 
Catherine Church, and, secondly, Mary Romaine. There were 
eight children by his first wife, and none by the second. Henry 
Nicholas [1777], his brother, married his cousin Harriet, by whom 
he had issue; Nicholas, jr. [1779], married Ann Trezevant Hey- 
ward, and settled in South Carolina. They had six children. 

The fifth generation was represented by Henry III. [1799], 
who married Susan Matilda Whetten Rathbone, by whom he had 
three children; Nicholas III. [1801], who married Eliza . ,_ „ ,_ 

L John Peach 

Kortright, by whom he had six children; John Peach 
[1812], who espoused Eliza L. C. Dyckman. They resided at 
Boscobel, the old manor-house at Cruger's Station, and had eight 
children. In this generation, the sons of Bertram Peter were 
Eugene [1803], John Church [1807], who married, 

John Church 

first, Frances A. Jones, by whom he had one son, 
and second, Euphemia White Van Rensselaer, the daughter of 
Gen. Stephen Van Rensselaer, the last Patroon, by whom he had 
three children. He resided on Cruger's Island in the Hudson 
River. William Hyde [1721], who married, first, Mary Barnwell, 
by whom he had one son, and, second, Sarah J. Maxwell, by 
whom he had one son and one daughter. He settled at Peoria, 
111. Henry Nicholas [1800], son of Nicholas II., was graduated 
from Columbia (1819), studied law, and was admitted to the bar. 
He settled at Saugerties, where he died. He was prominent in 
local matters, and took a lively interest in church affairs. He 
married Harriet Douglass, but had no issue. Lewis Trezevant 
[1803] married Louisa E. Ancrum Williamson, by whom he had 
one son, James Hamilton. Nicholas IV. [1813] married Elizabeth 
Roberts, by whom he had seven children. 

Alfred, a son of Henry Nicholas, became a civil engineer, and 
built the first railway in Cuba, running from Matanzas to Havana. 
He died in the latter city, unmarried. 

74 Cruoer 

The sixth generation found the family well scattered over the 
Union, but in every branch the members were occupying posi- 
tions of prestige in their communities. George Ehninger [1834], 
son of Henry 111., married Sarah E. Carter, by whom he had a son, 
Robert; Kortright [1831], son of Nicholas 111., married Laura A. 
Willis, by whom he had issue ; the Rev. Gouverneur [1839], also 
Rev. a son of Nicholas III., was graduated from Columbia 

Gouverneur [1859], where he took the degree of A.M. He entered 
the General Theological Seminary, from which he was graduated 
in 1868 and ordained thereafter. He is eminent in philanthropy, 
being Vice-President of the Field Home, and connected with our 
many charities. He married R. A. Blealsley. 

Eugene [1836], brother of Gouverneur, married Caroline M. 
Shepherd, by whom he had three sons, Bertram, Randolph, and 
Melvin S. 

Stephen Van Rensselaer [1844], son of John Church, was 

educated in Europe, and while studying abroad the civil war 

broke out at home. He returned and enlisted in the 


Stephen van One Hundred and Fiftieth Regiment. He fought with 
Rensselaer intrepidity through the four years. Severely wounded 
at the battle of Resaca, he was honorably discharged by the War 
Department in the belief that he would never recover. Careful 
nursing, however, restored the young soldier to health, and four 
months afterwards he applied for reinstatement, and was ap- 
pointed to his old command. He marched with Sherman to the 
sea, and was present at the surrender of General Johnston at 
Durham. He was brevetted lieutenant-colonel for gallant and 
meritorious conduct. At the end of the war he took up the 
management of real estate, in which he was very successful. He 
became interested and was a director in many moneyed corpora- 
tions. He was a strong advocate of the militia system, and for a 
number of years was colonel of the Twelfth Regiment. Many 
political honors came to him, among which was the Chairmanship 
of the Republican County Committee of New York. He was 
Comptroller of the Trinity Church Corporation from 1880 until his 
death in 1898, and a trustee of the New York Public Library. 

*r ** 

The Old Cruger House at Oscawana on the Hudson 

i | 

krb 51 r 

$7> . 


Tlie Boscobel Manur House, Ginger's Point on the Hudson 

Cruoer 75 

Athletics, aquatics, and open-air life appealed strongly to him, and 
for many years he was one of the leaders of the yachting world. 
His wife was Julie Grinnell Storrow. 

The children of John Peach were Henry Mortimer [1838], 
John Whetten [1839], who married Frances Eugenia Rusher, by 
whom he had two children ; Peter Cornee [1843], a Petercomee, 
brave soldier, who gave up his life in the civil war; soldier 

James Henderson [1854], who married and had issue; William 
Roberts, son of Nicholas IV., who married Mary Boynton, by 
whom he had one son, Nicholas V. 

For two hundred years the Crugers have been notable ele- 
ments in New York social life. They have been marked by 
culture, commercial ability, philanthropy, and public spirit. In 
times of political excitement they have left the counting-house 
and drawing-room and devoted themselves to their duties as 
citizens. Where the issue was one to be settled in the arena, 
they have been fine speakers, good parliamentarians, and, above 
all, men of sincerity and honesty of purpose. Where the issue 
had to be decided by war, they freely offered their lives for their 
country and won an enviable reputation for gallantry and military 




HE heroic struggle and final victory of 
the American colonies aroused sym- 
pathy and admiration throughout 
Europe, and nowhere more than in 
Great Britain itself. The signing of 
the Treaty of Peace, which made the 
United States a recognized member 
of the family of nations, was the sig- 
nal for an emigration from the Old 
World in which were many men of 
the highest standing. Almost at the 
same time, John Delafield, John Jacob 
Astor, William Constable, Charles Wilkes, and John Church set 
sail from Europe for the new land across the sea. 

Of the five men, all of whom were destined to make a deep 
impression in the future home of their adoption, John Delafield 
was undoubtedly the most distinguished. He belonged j ohn 

to a family of high social position and proud pedigree, the Founder 
Genealogically, he was the head of the family, and by descent a 
Count of the Holy Roman Empire. He was not of Saxon descent, 
his ancestors having been members of the French nobility, who 
held rich possessions in Alsace. The very name, Delafield, is the 
Anglicized form of de la Feld, the name of a barony not far from 
Colmar, in Alsace. The name is preserved in many ways in the 

80 ©clafielfc 

old provincial capital of Strasbourg. For centuries the male 
members of the family were soldiers and courtiers. They loved 
adventure, and flocked to the standard of every fighting king. 
Hubertus de la Feld, who was the first of the family to go to 
England, received a grant of land for his knightly valor in the 
second year of William the Conqueror. 

The pedigree flows in unbroken lines, from the days of Hastings 
and the Alsatian barons, down to the present generation of the 
New York family. There is a tradition that John Delafield left 
England for America on account of an affair of the heart, but there 
is no evidence to support the theory. What is far more probable, 
viewed in the light of the man's broad-minded liberality, high 
culture, and public spirit, is that he came across on account of his 
love for a political system which should express his own ideals far 
better than that which prevailed under the British Crown. He 
was born in 1748 and came to "New York in 1773, when but 
twenty-five years of age. He brought with him considerable 
wealth, which he employed in establishing a mercantile house a 
short time after his arrival. He prospered from the first, becoming 
one of the richest merchants of New York. He retired from 
business in 1798, but until his death in 1824 took an active part in 
the management of the corporations of the period. He was 
President of the United Insurance Company, and a director of the 
New York Branch of the United States Bank. He may be referred 
to as one of the fathers of Wall Street. 

He had been in the country but a year when he wooed and 
won Ann Hallett, daughter of Joseph Hallett, a Revolutionary 
patriot, whose name is preserved in Hallett's Point on the East 
River, opposite to Hell Gate. The union proved happy and 
fruitful. There were thirteen children, of whom seven sons and 
four daughters reached maturity. To the education of his family 
John devoted his time and thought. He was an enthusiast in 
such matters, and had a firm belief that culture and intellectual 
training were the only bases of society and civilization. His chief 
joy lay in the school achievements and mental progress of his 
children. His home, according to his friends, had a heavy atmos- 

E)elafieU> 81 

phere of books, and his social intimates were those who were 
marked by the highest education. 

This theory has both advantages and disadvantages! It tends 
to produce an intellectual aristocracy, but at the same time it 
destroys interest in public affairs. It is difficult for a scholar to 
be at home in the hurly-burly of public life, and more diffi- 
cult for him to become prominent in civic or national affairs. 
The history of the family bears out this generalization. For 
five generations they have been men of exceptional ability, 
and have attained distinction in the learned professions, but 
not one has been really prominent in the political affairs of the 

In the second generation, John II. [1786] was a merchant and 
scholar like his father. He was graduated from Columbia College 
(1802), and married twice. His first wife was his johnii. 
cousin, Mary Roberts, sole child of John Roberts of the Bank « 
Whitchurch, Buckshire, England, and his second, Harriet Wads- 
worth, daughter of Col. Benjamin Tallmadge, by both of whom he 
had issue. His first marriage was exceedingly romantic, and was 
used as the basis of Washington Irving's love story, The Wife. 
He was also a financier, and for many years cashier and President 
of the Phoenix Bank. With other leading men of the time, he 
realized the national importance of the farming interests of the 
country, and devoted much attention to study and work in this 
field. He was a member, officer, and finally President of the New 
York State Agricultural Society, whose records show him to have 
had a masterly knowledge of scientific farming. 

Major Joseph, the second son [1790], was a famous scholar, 
soldier, and scientist. He was graduated from Yale (1808), and 
admitted to the bar in 181 1. On the breaking out of Major j 0seph 
the War of 18 12, he enlisted and became Captain, and the Engineer 
finally Major of the Forty-sixth Infantry. His record was so good 
that after the restoration ot peace he was invited to become a 
regular, but declined, and resumed the practice of the law, more 
especially in connection with scientific questions. In these he 
was so successful that in 1821 he was appointed the Government 

82 Bclaficlb 

representative for fixing the boundary between the United States 
and Canada under the Treaty of Ghent. 

He held this position for several years, and gave it such 
thorough attention that he was usually mistaken for one of the 
engineers on the work. He was so careful in regard to the setting 
of boundary stones that one of his friends remarked: "Major, 
you are doing your work so well that after you are dead these 
boundary stones will be regarded as your monuments." Another 
scientific confrere added: "And for your epitaph I'll have in- 
scribed, ' He left no stone unturned for his country.'" He was 
President of the New York Lyceum of Natural History from 1827 
to 1866, and was one of the first to welcome the new schools of 
thought which were to culminate in Darwin and Wallace. He 
married Julia Livingston, daughter of Judge Maturin Livingston of 
Staatsburgh, and Margaret Lewis, daughter of General Morgan 
Lewis and granddaughter of Francis Lewis, the signer of the Dec- 
laration of Independence. 

Henry and William, the third and fourth sons [1792], were 
twins. The former married Mary P. Munson, daughter of Judge 
Munson, while the other remained a bachelor. They were famous 
beaux in the early part of the century, and were the acknowledged 
leaders of the social functions of the time. 

Dr. Edward, the fifth son [1794], was the most distinguished 
physician of his time. He was President of the College of Phy- 
sicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and emer- 

Dr. Edward ° . . . . 

ltus professor of obstetrics. He was twice married, 
his first wife being Elinor Elwyn Langdon, daughter of Thomas 
E. Langdon and granddaughter of John Langdon, Governor of 
New Hampshire and President of the Senate of the first United 
States Congress. By her he had six children. His second wife 
was Julia Floyd, daughter ot Colonel Nicoll Floyd and grand- 
daughter of General William Floyd. This union resulted in five 

Major-Generai General Richard, the sixth son [1798], entered 
Richard th e United States army, and rose to be brigadier-general 
and chief of engineers. He was twice Superintendent of West 

4*1 - % mm- 

■ ■:■■ v2Sc : *■ i\\ i} -~ 


o & 
'c75 ™ 

IDelafielfc 83 

Point, and was the designer ot many forts and other public works. 
He was talented in his calling, and many of his plans, drawings, 
and studies are still preserved and treasured on account of their 
scientific and artistic value. During the Civil War he was brevet 
major-general in command of the defences of Washington, D. C. 
He married, first, Helen Summers, daughter of Andrew Summers, 
and, secondly, Harriet Baldwin Covington, daughter of General 
E. M. Covington, by the latter marriage having seven children. 

Rufus King, the seventh son [1802], was a merchant and 
scholar. He married Eliza Bard, daughter of William Rufus King 
Bard, by whom he had six children. the Merchant 

The third generation is often called the Columbia generation, 
on account of the number of its members who attended that uni- 

Of the children of John II. by his first wife, John III. was 
graduated from Columbia in 1830. He married Edith Wallace, 
daughter of the Rev. Matthew G. Wallace, by whom John m 
he had four children. He took the degree of A. M. Lawyer 
in 1837, was admitted to the bar, and for many years was an 
active practitioner in New York. Mary Ann married Cornelius 
Du Bois. Charles married Louisa Potter, daughter of Paraclete 

Of the children ot John II. by his second wife, Tallmadge 
married Anna A. Lawrence; Clarence, Eliza Paine; and Mary 
Floyd, the Rev. Dr. Henry A. Neely, Bishop of Maine. 

Of the four children of Major Joseph, Julia Livingston did not 
marry. Lewis Livingston [1834] was graduated from Lewis 

Columbia (1855), ar >d belonged to the legal profession. Livingston 
He married Emily Prime, daughter of Hon. Frederick Prime. 
Maturin Livingston, the second son [1836], was grad- Maturm 
uated from Columbia (1856), and received the degree Llvin s ston 
of A. M. in i860. He was a successful merchant and retired from 
business many years ago. He married Mary Coleman Livingston, 
daughter of Eugene Augustus Livingston, and has eight children. 
He is a member ot the American Museum of Natural History, 
fellow of the American Geographical Society, and a member of 

84 2>elaficlfc 

many learned bodies. He has done considerable work in the 
world of letters. 

Of the children of Dr. Edward, Alice married Howard Clark- 
son; Dr. Francis was graduated from Yale (i860), and from the 
Dr. Francis College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia (1863). 
the Pathologist p rom that tj me on ftg ^23 been a prominent figure in 

the medical and collegiate world. He received the degree of LL. D. 
from Yale, and many honorary and complimentary titles from 
learned societies. In the College of Physicians and Surgeons 
(Columbia) he has held the offices of assistant in the medical clinic, 
professor of pathological anatomy (1868-1875), adjunct professor 
of pathology (1876-1882), professor of pathology (1882-1892), and 
professor of the practice of medicine (1892-1900). In addition to 
these honors, he has been the director of the pathological laboratory 
of the Alumni Association, and visiting physician of Bellevue Hos- 
pital. His contributions to medical science have been numerous 
and valuable. He married Katherine Van Rensselaer, daughter of 
General Henry Van Rensselaer. 

Floyd married Anna Baker ; Katherine Floyd, Edward 

Of the children of General Richard, Harriet Cecil married Edgar 
J. Shipman; Albert was graduated from the College of the City of 
Albert, "New York (1868), and from Columbia Law School 

Lawyer (1870). He was admitted to the bar upon graduation, 
and took up the practice of law. He married Julia Floyd. 

Of the children of Rufus King, Edward married Elizabeth 
Schuchardt, daughter of Frederick Schuchardt; Richard, Clara 
Carey Foster, daughter of Frederick Foster; Henry Parish, Elizabeth 
B. Moran, daughter of Daniel E. Moran, and, thereafter, Marguerite 
Marie Dewey; Catharine Cruger, John T. Hall. 

In the fourth generation of the children of John III., Edith 

married Christian C. Krebben; Mary, George Sturgis; Cornelia, 

Charles Sturgis; and Wallace, Lizzie H. Kamp, daughter 

Rev. Walter & ' ' r > o 

of Richard Kamp. The only child of Charles, the 
Rev. Walter, married Louisa Eaton. 

Of the children of Tallmadge, Tallmadge II. married Anita 

Etelafielfc 85 

Bogart; Cornelia, Theodore Woodbury; Harriet, Robert Boyd, 
and Anna L., William G. Cook. 

Clarence was represented in this generation by three children: 
Elizabeth, Clarence 11., and Benjamin Tallmadge. 

Of the children of Lewis Livingston, Robert Hare married Anne 
Shepherd Lloyd. Lewis Livingston II. was graduated from the 
Columbia School of Law in 1884 and admitted to the Lewis 

New York bar. He married Charlotte H. Wyeth, LivingstonI1 - 
daughter of Leonard Wyeth. Frederick Prime was graduated from 
Columbia Law School (1888) and enrolled in the legal profession. 
He married Elsie Barber. 

The children of Maturin Livingston were Maturin Livingston 
II., who married Lettice Lee Sands, daughter of Charles Sands; 
Edward Joseph, who married Margaretta Beasley; John; Maturin 
Julia, who married Frederick H. Longfellow; Eugene L,vingston IL 
C. ; Mary, and Harriet Coleman. The children of Dr. Francis were 
Elizabeth Ray; Julia R. Floyd, who married Frederick V. S. 
Crosby; Cornelia Van Rensselaer, and Edward. 

The children of Edward were Rufus, who married Elizabeth 
Breese Morse, daughter of Sidney Morse, and Frederick, 
who married Annie O. Brooks, daughter of Frederick 
W. Brooks. 

The children of Henry Parish were Eliza Bard and Nina 

In the fifth, or present, generation, there are many who bear 
the family name. Through marriage, descendants of John Dela- 
field have the following names: Boyd, Brooks, Clarkson, Cook, 
Crosby, Dewey, Du Bois, Floyd, Hawkins, Hall, Hull, Neely, 
Shipman, Sturgis, Woodbury, and Wright. 

The family has been marked by great vitality for five genera- 
tions, and promises to increase for years to come. Its achieve- 
ments are to be found in the records of colleges, scientific 
publications, and the archives of learned bodies. It has been 
conspicuous in the social world from the start, as well as in church 
circles and charitable work. Most families which have enjoyed 
wealth and culture for many generations tend to run down in 

86 ©claficU) 

intellectual vigor and activity. To this rule the Delafield career 
is a marked exception. The characteristics of the founder are ap- 
parently stamped upon the fifth generation as strongly as upon the 
second. In this regard they form an interesting parallel to the 
Abbott, Adams, and Lee families. 





HERE are tragic crises in the histories 
of families, as in the history of na- 
tions. In the political storms which 
sweep over every country, and in the 
merciless excitement attendant upon 
war, many a distinguished house dis- 
appears forever, or else emerges shorn 
of all its splendor in the land where 
it once ruled. The Revolution was 
such a storm. When it closed, the 
victors took the spoils, and the van- 
quished were driven from their native 
land or subjected to ostracism for a generation. The present age 
seems to have forgotten that the uprising of the colonies was not 
universal. Many historians, and notably Professor Tyler, are of 
the opinion that the Revolutionists were not even in the major- 
ity. While we applaud their valor and glory in their success, we 
are too apt to forget that the Royalists were, in general, as up- 
right and conscientious in their attitude and conduct as were their 
opponents. Many of them deserve particular sympathy. When 
the time came for taking sides, they found their friends and kins- 
men arrayed in what they believed to be the wrongful cause. 
On the other side, they saw strangers who treated them with 
suspicion and often with arrogance and contempt. 

They knew that the government of the home country was 

90 De Xancep 

tyrannical and unjust; and they had every reason to believe that, 
no matter what they might do in the pursuit of duty, they would 
receive little or no reward for their exertions. It was a corrupt 
age, and of its corruption they themselves were the best witnesses. 
They knew full well that the governing classes of Great Britain 
regarded the colonies as places to be exploited, and the Colonials 
as subjects with no rights, much less privileges. In the army 
they saw every day that bribery, influence, and noble blood dis- 
placed all merit. Hence the Colonials who cast sides with the 
home government did so without any hope of preferment or social 
elevation. Of course, there were many who espoused the King's 
cause in the belief that they would lose less than by taking part 
with the Revolutionists. There were others whose family ties or 
personal interests made them hostile to the party of independence. 
These doubtless were a majority of the Tories of the Revolution; 
but there were many who believed in the divine right of kings, or 
in the sacredness of law and order, and who regarded the Revolu- 
tion as being the wrongful means to a doubtfully right end. In 
this class may be put the great men who at the time constituted 
the representatives of the De Lancey family of New York. When, 
therefore, the sun of royalty went down on the western shores of 
the Atlantic, the family found itself stripped of the power and 
prestige which it had enjoyed for generations. All that was left 
to them was the consciousness that they had done their duty with 
their best ability, and the reflection that misfortune had befallen 
them in the administration of human affairs. In such circumstances 
many a family would have followed the example of thousands 
who left the new republic and went to the lands still covered by 
the flag of England. In fact, this course was taken by several 
branches of the De Lanceys, but others determined to regain the 
lost laurels of their race, and to become again leaders among their 
fellow-countrymen. That they succeeded is high tribute to the 
energy and pertinacity of the blood. 

The De Lancey family has a long line of illustrious descent. 
It dates back to mediaeval times and includes many courtiers and 
brave soldiers. As early as 1432 Guy de Lancey, Vicomte de 

De Xancep 9 1 

Laval et de Nouvion, held several important fiefs in Picardy and 
the Duchy of Laon. De Lancey is undoubtedly a place name, and 
is derivable from the town of Lanci, now in Western Switzerland, 
but in the Middle Age belonging to France. Both districts sup- 
plied stalwart captains to the princes of the time. The family 
branched, and the Seigneur Jacques de Lancey embraced the 
Huguenot faith. His son, Seigneur Jacques 11., of Caen, had two 
children, Etienne (Stephen), the founder of the American house 
(1663), and a daughter. 

Upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Etienne left France, 
escaping to Holland, whence he went to England, and became a 
naturalized subject of King James II. He remained in Etienne 
England long enough to dispose of some family jewels the Founder 
and other property he had brought from his home. It realized 
/300 sterling, equal in buying power to about $3000. With this 
fortune, which was handsome for that time, he embarked for the 
New World, and landed in New York in 1666. Here he went 
into business, and by great diligence amassed a fortune said to 
have been ^100,000, which was one of the largest of that 
period. He married Anne, daughter of the Hon. Stephanus Van 
Cortlandt, of the Manor of Cortlandt, by whom he had seven 
children, five sons and two daughters. The ancient records show 
him to have been a man of great philanthropy and public spirit. 
He was an Alderman (1691-1693,) and a member of the Provincial 
Assembly for twenty-four years (1702-1715 and 1726-1737). Here 
he astonished the Knickerbocker politicians by using his salary for 
one session to purchase a town-clock, the first New York ever 
had. Thereafter, he and his partner imported and presented 
to the city government the first fire-engine known to the metropo- 
lis. It was called " De Lancey 's Engine" for many years, and 
was shown as a special wonder to the Indians who came to New 
York to sell peltries and buy supplies. He was especially kind to 
Huguenot immigrants, many of whom reached New York penni- 
less and broken in health. At one time he had ten of his fellow- 
countrymen under medical treatment in his home, and for every 
one he secured employment. For those who had a taste for 

92 2>e Xancep 

commerce he obtained positions in the city among the merchants, 
while others, who preferred the soil, he sent to the Huguenot farm- 
ing settlements beyond the Harlem. His wealth enabled him to 
give his children a superior education, and the social position of 
himself and his wife made them prominent in local circles from 
the first. His social relations were also strengthened by the mar- 
riage of his sister to John Barbarie, one of the leading men of the 

Stephen, the Huguenot, built and owned one of the few 
remaining landmarks of old New York. This is Fraunces's Tavern, 
on the corner of Broad and Dock Streets. The land on which it 
stands was a part of the Van Cortlandt estate, and was given in 
1 701 by the Hon. Stephanus Van Cortlandt to his distinguished 
son-in-law, who built upon it what was considered a magnificent 
mansion. It was two stories and a half high, and the bricks were 
imported from Holland. As the city grew northward, the locality 
lost its fashionable character, and Stephen built a larger and finer 
home on Broadway, near Trinity Church. The old homestead 
was sold in 1752 to Samuel Fraunces, who transformed it into a 
tavern, which he opened under the name of the "Queen Char- 
lotte." It was for many years the headquarters of the Chamber 
of Commerce, and within its walls was spoken the farewell of 
Washington to his officers in 1783. 

The second generation more than sustained the high reputa- 
tion made by Etienne (or Stephen, as he called himself after be- 
coming a British subject). Of the two daughters, Susan married 
Admiral Sir Peter Warren, and Anne the Hon. John Watts. 

Of the sons, the ablest was undoubtedly James [1703]. He 
was educated at home and then sent to England, where he took 
judge the usual course at Cambridge, and thereafter studied 

james j aw a t {j-^ i nner Temple, London. He was admitted 

to the British bar at the early age of twenty-one, and returned to 
New York the following year. He was a man of striking presence, 
fine address, and great physical attractiveness. At Cambridge he 
was called "The Handsome American." His ability, wealth, and 
social position soon brought him a large and lucrative practice, 

'ml |i&} 

M ]£$ ^] 

M -a* 'g 1st 

1- 3 

Be Xancep 93 

and made him prominent in public affairs. He was made a mem- 
ber of the Provincial Council in 1729, his father at the same time 
being a member of the General Assembly. The following year he 
was appointed Chairman of the Charter Commission, and drew 
nearly all the provisions of what is known as " The Montgomerie 
Charter." For his services, the City Council presented him with 
the freedom of the city, he being the first upon whom that honor 
was conferred. In 1731, he was made the second Judge of the 
Supreme Court, and in 1733, Chief Justice. He retained this 
judicial office until his death in 1760. 

Although classed with the aristocrats of that time, he was 
democratic in his legal and political views. In 1746, when there 
was a struggle between the Colonial Governor, Admiral George 
Clinton, and the Assembly, regarding the former's salary and fees, 
Judge De Lancey sided strongly with the latter and incurred the 
bitter ill-will of the former. This soon expressed itself in action. 
In 1747, De Lancey was appointed Lieutenant-Governor. Instead 
of delivering the royal commission to the appointee, Admiral 
Clinton locked it up and wrote to the British Ministry, requesting 
its cancellation and demanding the removal of the Chief Justice. 
It was a long and vindictive fight, but in 1753, after six years of 
hostility, Clinton was obliged to deliver the commission. 

In 1754, De Lancey was President of the First Congress held 
in America. Here he met Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, for 
whom he soon contracted a warm friendship. The same year he 
granted the charter of King's, now Columbia College. It sounds 
odd to-day, but the act almost precipitated a riot. The Presby- 
terians and other sects regarded the incorporation of the school as 
a Jesuitical attempt by the Church of England to assume control 
of the colonies. So strong was the resentment that De Lancey, 
rather than have disorder, withheld the charter for six months. 
In 1755, he was a member of the Colonial Council, composed of the 
governors of the different colonies, which was held at Alexandria, 
Va., and its object was the arranging of a plan of offence and de- 
fence against the French and their Indian allies. 

He married Anne Heathcote, eldest daughter of the Hon. Caleb 

94 H>c Xancep 

Heathcote, Lord of the Manor of Scarsdale, Judge of the Court of 
Common Pleas, and Mayor of New York. By her he had eight 
children, four sons and four daughters. At his death, in 1760, he 
was, besides Chief Justice, Lieutenant-Governor of the province. 

Peter, the second son of Stephen the Huguenot, born in 1705, 
married Elizabeth Colden, daughter of Governor Cadwallader Col- 
den, by whom he had twelve children, seven sons and 

Peter ' J 

five daughters. He dwelt at what is now West Farms, 
Westchester County, where he had a large estate. He took an 
active part in public affairs, and was a member of the Provincial 
Assembly from 1750 to 1768, when he declined the renomination 
in favor of his second son, John, who served to the end of the 
British rule. 

Oliver, the youngest son of Stephen the Huguenot, born in 
17 18, was a successful merchant, soldier, and politician. He mar- 
ried Phila Franks of Philadelphia, by whom he had two 
»ver ^^ ^ ^^ daughters. He made a superb record 
during the French War, raising troops, taking part in the Crown 
Point expedition, and serving as " Colonel-in-Chief " of New York, 
under General Abercrombie. In 1 758 he received the thanks of the 
New York Assembly for his services. In June, 1776, he joined 
General Howe on Staten Island, being appointed brigadier-general. 
An enthusiastic Royalist, he tried to aid his commanding officer 
with the knowledge and experience he had gained in the French 
wars. His advice, it seems, was often ignored. Nevertheless, in less 
than three months he raised three regiments, of five hundred men 
each, from New York, Westchester, and the surrounding districts, 
which were known as " De Lancey's Battalions." They were 
formed into a brigade, of which he was appointed commander, 
with the rank of brigadier-general. He was detailed to the com- 
mand of Long Island, where he remained during the Revolution. 
One of his battalions was transferred to the South, where it 
behaved with great gallantry under his son-in-law, Colonel John 
Harris Cruger. He made an admirable executive, controlling the 
Revolutionary sympathizers upon Long Island and the adjacent 
districts on the other side of Long Island Sound. In November, 

2>e ILancep 95 

1777, a party of Revolutionists landed one night at Bloomingdale, 
on the Hudson, and robbed and burned his fine country-seat, driv- 
ing his wife and daughters in their night-robes into the fields and 
woods. At the close of the Revolution he was named in the 
Act of Attainder, and his immense estates in New York and "New 
Jersey were confiscated. He took his loss philosophically, and 
retired to England, where he remained until his death in 1785. 

The other two sons of the Huguenot, Stephen II. and John, 
died bachelors. They were merchants and men of wealth, whose 
activity was manifested mainly in commercial and social channels- 

The third generation of the De Lancey family was born under 
less happy stars than the second. All had lost property by the 
result of the war, and several of them had been ruined and exiled. 
Of the daughters of the Chief Justice, Mary married William 
Walton, Susannah died a spinster, Anna married the Hon. Thomas 
Jones, Justice of the Supreme Court, author of Jones's History 
of New York during the Revolution, and Martha died a spinster. 

James II., the eldest son of the Chief Justice, was educated at 
Eton and Cambridge. He entered the army upon his return from 
England, and served with distinguished bravery during captain 
the French war. On his father's death, he succeeded James 

to the De Lancey estate, becoming one of the richest men in the 
world. Up to the breaking out of hostilities, he was bitterly op- 
posed to the misrule of the British government, and in 1775 went 
to England to aid in obtaining redress. While there the war broke 
out, and he never returned to his native land. His estates were 
confiscated, and he banished. He married Margaret Allen of Phila- 
delphia, daughter of Chief-Justice William Allen, by whom he had 
two sons, both officers in the British army, who died bachelors, 
and three daughters. 

Stephen, the second son, settled in North Salem, a part of the 
Van Cortlandt Manor, which fell to his father in the division of the 
manor. Here he built a large house, which afterwards captain 
he presented to the town for a school. He married Stephen 
Hannah, daughter of the Rev. Joseph Sackett, and died without 
issue. John Peter [1753] was educated in England and entered 

96 Be Xancep 

the British army in 1 77 1 as ensign, soon afterward being promoted 
to be captain. He served in the Revolution, taking part in many 
battles with much credit. When peace was declared he returned 
to England with his regiment. His feeling for home, however, 
was stronger than his love for England, so in 1789 he resigned 
from the army and returned to New York. He dwelt in Mamaro- 
neck, in the Manor of Scarsdale, which had descended to him 
from his grandfather, Heathcote, where he remained until he died, 
in 1828. He- married Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel Richard 
Floyd, of Long Island, by whom he had three sons and five 

Of the children of Peter, Stephen [1740] was a lawyer and an 
official of distinction, serving as City Clerk, County Clerk, Re- 
corder of Albany, Indian Commissioner, and member of the Com- 
mittee of Safety. He was a royalist, but during the war was not 
in arms. In 1783, he went with other royalists to Annapolis, Nova 
Scotia, where he became a prominent official. 

John [1741], second son of Peter, was a lawyer, and took an 
active part in local affairs. He was High Sheriff of Westchester in 
john the 1769, and a member of the Assembly for six years, of 
High sheriff the General Committee of One Hundred, and of the 
First Provincial Congress. During the Revolution his sympathies 
were with the colonists, but he took no active part in the exciting 
events of that period. Peter, the third son, was a lawyer, who 
james the removed to Charleston, which he made his home. 
High shenff j ames [1750] was High Sheriff of Westchester, and in 
the Revolution was Colonel of the Westchester Light Horse, 
known as the " Cow Boys." At the end of the war, being ban- 
ished, he went to' Nova Scotia. Oliver was a lieutenant in the 
British navy, and resigned because he would not fight against his 
fellow-countrymen. He lived in Westchester up to his death in 
1820. Warren, the youngest son of Peter, ran away from home 
to join the British army, and when but fifteen years old was made 
a cornet for gallantry at the battle of White Plains. After the war 
he made peace with the authorities, and remained in this country 
up to his death, in 1855. 

Alice De Lancey 

Wife of Ralph Izard 
Portrait in miniature on gold snuff-box 

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Izard 

From the painting by John S. Copley 

©e Xancei? 97 

Of the daughters of Peter, Anne married John Cox of Philadel- 
phia; Alice, Ralph Izard, the South Carolina Delegate to the Con- 
tinental Congress, and first United States Senator from st ephen, the 
South Carolina ; Susannah, Colonel Thomas Barclay, Governor 
and Jane, the Hon. John Watts. Of the three children of Oliver, 
Stephen [1748] was a soldier, lawyer, judge, and governor. He 
was a lieutenant-colonel on the British side during the war of the 
Revolution, and afterwards became Chief Justice of the Bahamas 
and Governor of Tobago. He married Cornelia, the daughter of 
the Rev. Dr. Barclay of Trinity Church, by whom he had one son, 
Sir William Howe De Lancey, K. C. B., who fell at Waterloo in 
181 5, Quartermaster-General of Wellington's army. 

Of the fourth generation, the children of John Peter seem to 
have been the most prominent. Thomas J. [1790] was a lawyer 
of great promise, who died when but thirty-two years Bishop 

old. He married Mary Ellison, by whom he had one wuuamH. 
son, Thomas J. (II.). Edward Floyd [1795] died unmarried. 
William Heathcote [1797] was the first Bishop of Western New 
York. He was graduated from Yale in 1817, and ordained by 
Bishop Hobart in 1882. He married Frances, daughter of Peter 
Jay Munro. In 1839, he was made Bishop, and died in 1865. He 
was a man of great intellectual activity; Provost of the University 
of Pennsylvania, 1828 to 1833; Secretary of the House of Bishops, 
and Secretary of the Pennsylvania Convention. He took an active 
part in the founding of De Veaux College and the Theological 
Training School of Western New York. He was an able writer, 
speaker, debater, and parliamentarian. He died in 1865. 

Of the five daughters of John Peter, Anne Charlotte married 
John Loudon Macadam, the creator of macadamized roads, and 
Susan Augusta, James Fenimore Cooper, the novelist. The three 
others never married. 

In the fifth generation, the family of the Bishop has attained 
distinction. Edward Floyd [182 1] was educated at the University 
of Pennsylvania, Hobart College, and the Harvard Law Edward F io y d 
School. He was admitted to the bar of New York the Historian 
State in 1846, and has been a resident of New York City since 1850. 

98 ©e Xancc£ 

He has travelled extensively, and has earned a high reputation as 
an historian and genealogist. Among the many honorable posi- 
tions he has held have been the presidency of the New York 
Genealogical and Biographical Society, President of the West- 
chester Historical Society, President of the St. "Nicholas Society, 
and the corresponding secretaryship of the New York Historical 
Society. He has written many valuable volumes upon historical 
and biographical subjects, and edited for the New York Historical 
Society the History of New York in the Revolution by Judge 
Thomas Jones, in two volumes. He married Josephine Matilda, 
daughter of William S. de Zeng, by whom he has one son, 
Edward Etienne De Lancey, a civil engineer. 

Margaret M., daughter of the Bishop, married Dr. Thomas F. 
Rochester, of Buffalo, President of the Medical College of that city. 
John Peter (II.) married Wilhelmina V. Clark, and William Heath- 
cote (II.) married his cousin, Elizabeth E. Hunter. 

All of the old families of New York have become inter-related 
through marriage. In this regard the De Lanceys seemed to have 
surpassed the rest, in proportion to their numbers. In the two 
hundred and fifteen years of their career in America they have 
blended with at least four hundred families, so that their con- 
nections are now so numerous as almost to defy the patience of 
the genealogist. This blending has been of benefit to the 

The characteristics of their race have been conscientiousness 
and the courage of conviction. These have been the secret at 
once of their success and of their adversity. There can be little 
hope for a people which accepts without struggle or protest what 
its conviction abhors, but there is every hope and every possibil- 
ity for a community which makes righteousness its aim and 
subordinates thereto all other earthly considerations. 

De pester 



^Sgjggvijff 1 

^2)N the sixteenth century, Holland was 
the Mecca of the victims of religious 
persecution. These refugees were 
people of strong convictions, an in- 
tense moral nature, high intelligence, 
and physical courage. They made an 
invaluable addition to the population 
of the Netherlands, and contributed 
-largely to its prosperity and greatness. 
Among them were the members of 
the De Peyster family, which had 
been driven from Brabant, where they 
had lived for many generations. The race came originally from 
Normandy, and descended from the fierce Vikings, who had con- 
quered that province from its original French rulers. 

The expulsion of the Flemings to Holland served to develop 
or increase the nomadic instinct which, at least in their youth, 
obtains in all strong and healthy men. The De Peysters were no 
exception to the rule. The records show that at this period 
many of them became wanderers, searching for lands in which 
they could enjoy the liberty denied them in their old home. 
At least one of the family settled in England; another is said to 
have gone to Greece; several remained in Amsterdam, Holland; 
while one crossed the ocean to find a home and found a house 
in the Dutch colonies of North America. 

102 Be pcpstcr 

This was Johannes de Peyster, the progenitor of the family 
upon this continent. He was born in Holland [1620], where he 
Johannes the enjoyed the advantages of wealth, education, and high 
Renteneer social position. The exact date of his arrival in the 
Dutch colony is uncertain. The official records of the New Neth- 
erlands were poorly kept, and the change in the suzerainty from 
Holland to Great Britain, which involved a change in the lan- 
guage of the country, did not tend to better matters in this re- 
spect. Only of late years have the ancient church archives been 
restored and published. They show that Johannes was a mem- 
ber in good standing of the Dutch Church of New Amsterdam as 
early as 1649, during the governorship of Petrus Stuyvesant, and 
that in this church, in December, 1651, he was married to Cor- 
nelia Lubbertse, a beautiful girl from Haarlem in the Netherlands. 
That he was very well-to-do, if not rich, is shown by the fact 
that he visited the various settlements in the New Netherlands, 
either for pleasure or else for the purpose of discovering oppor- 
tunities for judicious investment, and that after his wedding he 
took his bride to the home country, doubtless upon a honey- 
moon journey. While in Holland, Johannes converted much of 
his patrimony into cash, with which he purchased household 
goods, luxuries, and decorations for his home across the sea. 
The remainder of his estate must have been wisely invested, as 
he is referred to in the chronicles of the seventeenth century as a 
" renteneer," i.e., a person whose active capital was sufficient to 
support him in more than ordinary comfort. 

The quiet excitement in New Amsterdam occasioned by the 
presence of a man of independent means was increased by his 
bringing with him a handsome family carriage, the first that had 
been seen in the colony. The vehicle was a seven-days' won- 
der, and for many weeks was surrounded by an admiring crowd 
whenever it appeared upon the modest streets or execrable roads 
of Manhattan. He was active and industrious. Instead of living 
upon his income and leading an idle life, he worked as diligently 
as any poor man. He established a mercantile business, which 
he conducted with great success, and took an active part in civic 


The De Peyster House in Queen Street, New York, about 1800 

From an old wood-cut 

2>e pester 103 

affairs. He was a cadet in the burgher corps ot the city, and one 
of the Committee of Six who were associated to draft the first 
charter for the city. In 1665, he was made schepen, a quaint 
mediaeval office, which was partly sheriff and partly magistrate. 
He held the position five terms, and after the colony was trans- 
ferred to the British Crown, he served four terms as Alderman. 

In 1673, Johannes was selected as one of the three Burgomas- 
ters to govern the city conformably to the laws and statutes. 
In the same year he was made a member of the Commission of 
Five for Public Defence. To increase the efficiency of the fortifi- 
cations constructed, the Commission destroyed many buildings 
and orchards which might have afforded protection to an ad- 
vancing enemy. They did this under what would be termed 
martial law to-day, but nevertheless they decreed that the com- 
munity should pay the full market value for everything taken or 
destroyed. In 1677, he was made Deputy-Mayor of New York, 
and the same year was appointed Mayor by Governor Nicoll. 
To the surprise of the Governor, the stout burgher declined the 
honor on account of his imperfect acquaintance with English. 
During his long life he was a generous contributor to both public 
and private enterprises and charities. He was fearless in the de- 
fence of his ideas of right, and took sides against the Crown or the 
opposition, without regard to consequences, whenever he believed 
the public welfare to be in jeopardy. He died in 1685, leaving a 
large estate to his heirs. He left seven sons and two daughters. 

Four sons of the founder were eminent in the second genera- 
tion, of whom Abraham was the toremost figure. Born in 1657, 
he received an excellent education, and even before he judge 

came of age was an energetic participant in public Abraham 
affairs. His life was long, laborious, and marked by many honors. 
He was, successively, Alderman, Mayor, Judge of the Supreme 
Court, Chief Justice of the province, member and Chairman of 
the King's Council, Acting Governor and Colonel-Commander of 
the Militia of New York, President of the Council, Treasurer of the 
provinces of New York and New Jersey, and Deputy Auditor- 
General. He managed his large estate with great financial skill, 

104 2>c Ipcpstcr 

and, though a libera! donor, increased his wealth steadily from 
year to year. He was public-spirited and patriotic. 

Seeing the necessity of improvements, he presented a large 
piece of land to the city, to be used for the extension of commerce. 
Some of the land was cut up into lots, which were sold upon con- 
dition that the buyers should build or help to build wharves on 
the river-front. Another part was converted into the Fly Market, 
which stood on the lower part of Maiden Lane. More important 
was his gift of a valuable tract of land to the municipality as a site 
for a city hall worthy of the metropolis. With notable generosity, 
he selected a piece of his estate on which at the present time stands 
the United States Sub-Treasury, at Wall, Nassau, and Pine Streets. 
For this princely present, he received resolutions of thanks from 
the city government as well as complimentary letters from many 
of the leading citizens of New York. A handsome building was 
erected, which was an ornament to that part of the city, and which 
remained until the growth of the metropolis rendered it inadequate 
for its purposes. 

Throughout his life Abraham was eager to promote public ed- 
ucation. There was general apathy upon the subject in those 
days. Society was divided by national, linguistic, and class lines, 
and few of the leading men had risen to the plane on which is to 
be perceived the necessity of universal education in a civilized 
community. Abraham belonged to that few. He encouraged the 
schools and aided poor pedagogues and poorer scholars. To stim- 
ulate ambition, he offered rewards for scholarship, and in many 
instances, when the schools were not self-supporting, he himself 
made good the deficit. 

To him belongs the credit of having induced the city to as- 
sume the support of the poor and sick. Whenever the Govern- 
ment got into financial trouble he advanced it the money necessary 
to conduct its business. In 1701, the Colonial Legislature passed 
unanimously a vote of thanks to him for having "for three weeks 
past subsisted the soldiers in his Majesty's pay on his own charge 
without any bills." 

By his will, he gave a church-bell to the Middle Dutch Church, 

De pester 105 

which was then on Kip Street, now Nassau, between Cedar and 
Liberty. When this church was occupied as the city post-office, 
the bell was taken to the church on Ninth Street, near Broadway, 
thence to the church on Lafayette Place, and last of all to the 
belfry of the Reformed Dutch Church on Fifth Avenue and Forty- 
eighth Street, where its voice is still heard regularly. Abraham 
married Catharina de Peyster, his cousin in Amsterdam, Holland. 
Their issue consisted of eight sons and five daughters. 

Isaac [1662] was a wealthy merchant and a distinguished 
citizen, who for several years was a member of the Provincial 
Assembly, and for four years an Assistant Alderman. Isaac the 
His wife was Mary Van Baal, or Balen, as it was writ- Merchant 
ten in English. 

Johannes II. [1666] was said to be the handsomest man of his 
day. He was rich, popular, and patriotic. Many public honors 
were accorded to him. He was Assessor, Assistant Mayor 

Aderman, Mayor, 1698-99, Assemblyman, Chairman of Johannes 
Committees, and Captain of the New York Troop of Horse. There 
must have been bad politicians and devious political ways in his 
time, because in 1698 he was one of a Committee of Four appointed 
to maintain the purity of the elective franchise, in which capacity 
he drew a strong report against the Sheriff and his deputies for 
making deficient returns of representatives. He married Anna 
Bancker, by whom he had seven sons and five daughters. He 
was the head of what is known as the younger branch of the 

Cornelius [1673] was patterned after his three brothers. He 
was the owner of large estates and filled many responsible posi- 
tions in the government. He was Assistant Alderman comeiiusthe 
for fourteen years, and the first Chamberlain appointed. Chamberlain 
He married, first, Mary Bancker, by whom he had one son and six 
daughters, and, secondly, Miss Dessington, by whom he had five 

In the third generation five of the sons deserve Abraham 
mention. Chief among these was Abraham [ 1 696], son the Treasurer 
of Abraham. At the age of twenty-five he was made Treasurer 

106 Dc pepster 

of New York, succeeding his father, who had resigned on account 
of illness, and held that important office forty-six years, until 
his death, when he was succeeded by his son Frederick. His 
administration was noted for its honesty and efficiency. He 
managed the city's finances as carefully as his own. During this 
period there were no charges of corruption or dishonesty, and in 
every department the same principle seemed to be at work. If 
there ever was a model office-holder it was this conscientious and 
able citizen. He married Margaret Van Cortlandt, daughter of 
Jacobus Van Cortlandt, by whom he had eleven children. 

Pierre Guilliaume [ 1 707], brother of the Treasurer, devoted his 
life to church work and the management of his estate. He was 
Pierre a social favorite, who dispensed lavish hospitality. 

Guiiiiaume j-j e h a( j an a bi e helpmate in his wife, Catharine Schuy- 
ler.daughterof ArentSchuyler,and sister of Colonel Pieter Schuyler. 

Captain Johannes [1094], son of Johannes and grandson of 
the founder, was born and educated in New York, but removed to 
captain Albany on reaching manhood's estate. He was a.ready 
Johannes acquainted with the leading people of that city, and 
had the prestige which attached to the family name. When but 
twenty-two years of age he was made Recorder, which office he 
held for twelve years, and thereafter he was made Mayor for three 
years. Great credit came to him while acting as Commissioner 
of Indian Affairs. In 1744, he wasa member of the Colonial Assem- 
bly, in 1750 Commissioner of Repairs to the fort at Albany; in 1751, 
Commissioner for the Collection of Duties; in 17s}, Commissioner 
for the Construction of Barracks; in 1 7^4, an officer and inspector 
of ordnance; and in 1755 one of the two commissioners for carry- 
ing out the first expedition against Crown Point. His life was 
given unreservedly to the State, and to him Albany may well 
look as to one of its great benefactors. He married Anna, daugh- 
ter of Captain Myndert David Schuyler, by whom he had four 

Gerard, brother of the Captain [1697], was active in religious, 
philanthropic, and social work. He took little or no interest in 
public affairs, and does not seem to have engaged in mercantile 

Catherine De Peyster 

From a copy of the original portrait in the possession of Hon. E. H. Crosby 

iilver Plate of Johannis De Peyster Brought from Holland 

From an old print 

Be pester 107 

enterprises, devoting himself to the care of his own property. He 
married, first, Mary Octave, and, second, Miss Oakes. He had 
one son and one daughter. 

William [1709], son of Johannes II., was a student and man of 
culture. He inherited enough wealth to gratify his taste for learn- 
ing, and led a quiet and uneventful life. He was popular, and 
exerted a strong influence for good. He married Margaret 
Keoncott, by whom he had six sons and two daughters. 

The fourth generation was marked for the number of talented 
men the family furnished to the community. Colonel James Abra- 
ham ri726], son of Abraham III., was a very successful 

L ' J J Col. James A. 

merchant, at one time owning no less than forty-five 
ships. He was as prominent in the Church as in the commercial 
world, and was celebrated for his practical benevolence. His 
chief relaxation was visiting and aiding the needy, and helping 
poor boys and young men to start in life. Several memoirs of that 
period refer to him as the most benevolent man in New York. He 
married Sarah, daughter of the Hon. Joseph Reade, by whom he 
had seven sons and six daughters. 

Frederick [1731], son of Abraham III., was known as "the 
Marquis," on account of his remarkable beauty, grace, and 
courtesy. He was appointed Treasurer of the Province Frederick 
of New York the day after his father died, but, not the Mar i uis 
caring for office, he resigned and went to France, where he 
lived for many years. He was a social favorite at the French 
capital, as well as at home. He spoke five languages with rare 
fluency, and was a master of both English and French literature. 
No finer type of the American gentleman can be found in the 
eighteenth century. One of the clever Livingston girls said of 
him : " No one knew that the pastimes of dancing and conversa- 
tion could be elevated into fine arts until ' the Marquis' came back 
from France." On account of the death of the lady to whom he 
was passionately attached, and who died about the time they 
proposed to wed, he never married, "bestowing his love and 
attentions upon the entire sex as a memorial to one who had been 
its perfect flower and fruit." 

ios Be pepster 

Colonel Arent Schuyler [1736], son of Pierre Guilliaume, was a 
brilliant soldier. He was educated in New York and thereafter in 
coi. Arent London. Here, in 1755, he joined the English army as 
schuyier ensign in the celebrated Eighth or King's Regiment of 
British Foot. In 1757, he was made lieutenant. When serving in 
northern New York, he, with other officers, made a careful ex- 
ploration and survey of the region about Lake George and Lake 
Champlain, with a view to determining strategic points, in the 
event of an Indian war. These studies he embodied in a series of 
curious poems, which were published, with many essays and 
studies, in a volume of miscellanies at the end of the eighteenth 
century. In 1767, he built a saw-mill at Niagara Falls, being the 
first to harness that inexhaustible source of power. He was a 
captain in 1768, and was stationed at Michilimackinac, where he 
made a careful study of the Indian tribes of that neighborhood, 
and learned their language. 

He soon had so powerful an influence upon them that he was 
often called the " White Chief." This popularity was utilized by 
the British government, which, on the breaking out of the Revo- 
lution, directed him to bring the warriors to aid in suppressing the 
rebels. He obeyed with remarkable success; gathering the red 
men from districts as far west as Lake Superior, as far north as 
Lake Nipissing, and as far south as St. Louis. One of his first 
orders to enlist the Indians was dated July 4, 1776. He retired 
from the army in 1795. Toward the end of his life he organized 
the first regiment of Dumfries Volunteers in Scotland, and one of 
the first to enlist under him was Robert Burns, the poet. The 
poet had not been in service long before something provoked his 
sense of humor, causing him to write a piece of laughable verse, 
which appeared in the Dumfries Journal. Colonel de Peyster, 
who, besides being a poet, had a keen sense of the ridiculous, 
appreciated the poem, and, without knowing who the author 
was, answered it in another poem in the following issue. This 
battle of the bards rolled along in the columns of the Scotch 
paper for some time. The soldier-poet never returned to the 
young republic. 

Be fluster 109 

Pierre Guillaume II. [1746] was a famous privateersman dur- 
ing the Revolution. He held letters of marque from both the 
American and French governments, and inflicted great Pierre g. the 
loss upon British commerce. He married Berthick Privateersman 
Hall, by whom he had three sons and four daughters. 

The children of William in the fourth generation were John 
[1731], who married Elizabeth Henry; William [1735], Elizabeth 
Brogan; Gerard [1737], Elizabeth Rutgers; Nicholas [1740], who 
married, first, Jane Jansen and, secondly, Frances De Kay; Abra- 
ham [1742], who married Christianna Baldwin; and James [1745], 
who married his cousin, Ann de Peyster. 

The fifth generation was marked by brilliant soldiers. Cap- 
tain Abraham [1753], son of Colonel James Abraham, was an 
accomplished scholar and man of the world, who was 

Col. Abraham 

educated at King's, now Columbia College, where he 
received the degree of A.M. His tendencies were for the crown, 
and, after graduation, he became prominent in royalist circles. 
On the breaking out of the Revolution, he took up arms for the 
King, and soon proved himself a veritable Hotspur. He rose to be 
captain in the British army, and when the war ended was one of 
the multitude who emigrated to Canada. He settled in New 
Brunswick, where he founded the city of St. John, and became 
prominent in political life, rising to be Treasurer of the colony. 
His wife was Catharine Livingston. 

Joseph Reade [1754] was another fighting royalist. Captain 
James [1757] was graduated at Columbia in 1774, in the same class 
with Alexander Hamilton, and served in the regiment „ 

Capt. James 

of his brother, Captain Abraham, and afterwards in the 
English army in France. Captain Frederick [1758] was commander 
of the Nassau Blues of Long Island, and was one of the emigrants 
to New Brunswick, where he became a magistrate. He returned 
to New York, where he took up mercantile life, and became a 
famous merchant. He married, first, Helen Hake, by whom he 
had five sons, and, secondly, Ann Beekman, by whom he had one 
son and seven daughters. 

Captain Arent Schuyler II. [1779], son of Pierre Guillaume II., 

no 3>e Jpepster 

was a soldier, sailor, trader, and financier. He was a sea rover 

who sailed twice around the world, and who discovered the 

archipelago bearing his name, the De Peyster or Pey- 

Capt. Arent S. ' 

ster Islands in the South Seas. In the latter part of 
his life he was President of the Relief Fire Insurance Company of 
New York. 

To this period belongs Captain Augustus [1784], of the 
younger branch. At school he was a bright lad, and stood at the 
captain head of his class without apparent effort ; but all his 
Augustus S pare time was spent in and on the water. At fifteen, 
he was an expert swimmer, fisher, oarsman, and sailor, and knew 
the name and appearance of every ship belonging to New York. 
His knowledge of commercial geography was extraordinary for a 
man, much more for a mere lad. His people were wise, and when 
he told them that he desired to go to sea, they secured him an ex- 
cellent berth on a sailing-ship. Shortly after coming of age, he 
was a mate, and soon thereafter captain. When in the employ of 
John Jacob Astor, in the China trade, he was styled by the latter 
his " king of captains." Stem and vigilant on shipboard, he was 
kind and genial on shore. Opportunities for money-making were 
numerous for sea-traders in those days, and he took advantage of 
them. Of the handsome profits he acquired, he spent the greater 
part on relatives, friends, necessitous seamen, and public charities. 

Adventures checkered his life. He fought Chinese pirates, 
Malay sea-rovers, and French privateers. His luck was proverb- 
ial, or, to be more accurate, his forethought and wisdom allowed 
him to triumph over obstacles which would have ruined less 
careful men. In the China Sea his ship was always ready for bat- 
tle. The cannons were loaded, the muskets placed in accessible 
places, and the cutlasses kept sharp and pointed. His men were 
drilled for fighting, fire, and wreck. When, therefore, one day, 
near Lamina Island, at the mouth of the Pearl River, a junk, 
which appeared to be an honest trader, suddenly opened fire, it 
found no timid and unprepared victim. Before the smoke of the 
first gun cleared away the fire was returned, and within an hour 
the piratical crew were either dead, wounded, or in the water try- 

Be {pester m 

ing to escape. The junk, deserted by its former owners, proved 
well laden, and, as the sturdy skipper remarked, paid the expenses 
of action and left a fair profit besides. In 1845, he retired from the 
sea and became Governor of Sailors' Snug Harbor, on Staten 

In the sixth generation, two members achieved distinction. 
These were Captain James Ferguson [1794], son of Captain Fred- 
erick, and the other, the Hon. Frederick, his brother capt. james 
[1796]. The former, after graduation from Columbia Ferguson 
(18 1 2), entered the United States regular army, in which he dis- 
played much efficiency, rising from the rank of ensign to that of 
Captain of the Forty-second United States Infantry. His record 
in the War of 18 12 was that of a fearless and able soldier. Upon 
the restoration of peace he retired to private life, where he was 
a commanding figure during the first half of the century. Among 
the offices he held were: Governor of the New York Hospital, 
Trustee of the New York Infant Asylum, President of the New 
York Dispensary, Treasurer and Trustee of the Bank for Savings 
in Bleecker Street, Treasurer of St. Michael's Church, and Treas- 
urer of the Society for Promoting Religion and Learning. He was 
twice married : first, to Susan Maria Clarkson, by whom he had 
one daughter; and, secondly, to Frances Goodhue Ashton, by 
whom he had three sons and two daughters. 

The Hon. Frederick was graduated from Columbia (1816). In 
the War of 1812 he raised a company of students, who were known 
as the "College Greens," of which he was captain. captain 
After the war he took a deep interest in the militia, and Frederick 
rose to be military secretary to Governor Clinton, with the rank 
of colonel. He was a lawyer of distinction, and held the office of 
Master in Chancery for many years. He was President of the 
New York Historical Society, the St. Nicholas Club of the New 
York Society Library, and of the St. Nicholas Society. He made 
many contributions to American literature, especially upon his- 
torical, political, and biographical topics. He was twice married: 
first, to Mary Justina Watts, by whom he had one son; and, sec- 
ondly, to Mrs. Maria Antoinette Kane-Hone. 

H2 Be pester 

The Hon. Frederic J. [1839], son of Captain James Ferguson, 
and Major-General John Watts [1821], son of the Hon. Frederic, 
Honorable are tne two P rom i nen t names of the seventh generation. 
Frederic j. The former was graduated from the College of the City 
of New York (i860) and Columbia College Law School 
(1862). He quickly won recognition at the bar, and for nearly 
forty years has held a high place. He has been notable for his 
public work in educational, charitable, historical, and other in- 
stitutions. He has been trustee of the Holland Society, Presi- 
dent of the St. Nicholas Club, President of the St. Nicholas 
Society, Governor of the New York Chapter of the Society of 
Colonial Wars, Governor-General of the Society of Colonial 
Wars, President of the Huguenot Society of America, President 
of the New York Dispensary, President of the Orphans' So- 
ciety, Chairman of the New York Society Library, President of 
the New York Infant Asylum, and a New York Trustee and 
Treasurer of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. 
His labors in the field last mentioned entitle him to the gratitude 
of every classicist, archaeologist, and student of anthropology. 
He has raised funds for exploration and restoration, aided deserv- 
ing scholars to pursue their Greek studies in the Hellenic capital, 
planned broader systems of investigation and work, aroused sen- 
timent in the American universities, enlisted the sympathies of 
scholars in every land, and interested the reading public in what 
was at one time laughed at as a " mere digging up of dry bones." 
He married Augusta McEvers Morris of Morrisania, by whom he 
has had five children. 

Major-Gen. John Watts [1821] was distinguished as a soldier, 
citizen, philanthropist, author, and patriot. In the militia, he 
Major-Gen. rose from private to be brevet major-general. He was 
John watts one of the founders of the present police system of 
New York City and the first advocate of a paid fire department, 
of fire-escapes, and of steam fire-engines. For these doctrines he 
was ridiculed at the time as a visionary. His chief fame is based 
upon his literary work in the field of history. He married Estelle 
Livingston, by whom he had five children. 

©e pester 113 

Three sons of Major-Gen. John Watts were the heroes of the 
eighth generation. John Watts [1841] left Columbia College in 
1862 and fought gallantly in the Civil War. He was 

Col. John W. 

promoted to be lieutenant-colonel and colonel, and 
died from disease contracted in the discharge of duty. Frederick 
[1842] followed in the footsteps of his brother. Enter- coionei 
ing the army, he rose to be colonel, and died from Fr edenck 
disease contracted in the war. He married Mary, the daughter of 
Clermont Livingston. Johnston Livingston [1846] also coionei 
enlisted in the Civil War, where he rose to be major, Johnston l. 
lieutenant-colonel, and colonel, and had the honor of hoisting the 
Stars and Stripes over Richmond on the 3d of April, 1865. He 
married Julia Anna Toler. 

In the younger branch of the family, were many members 
deserving of notice. Among them were John J. [1781], who was 
graduated at Columbia (1800); William [1792], another Columbia 
man (1810); Robert Gilbert Livingston [1795], the merchant, who 
was graduated at Columbia (181 5), and achieved a high place in 
the commercial world ; Pierre Cortlandt [1814], a merchant who 
took up business after graduation from Columbia (1833), and 
Richard Varick [1820], the banker, also a Columbia graduate 
(1841). The present living representative of this Henry 

branch is Henry, a distinguished lawyer and manager the Lawyer 
of many family estates. 

The De Peysters have been marked by conscientiousness, 
social grace, and intellectuality. From the first they have loved 
culture and the higher aims of life. Though aristocrats by de- 
scent, wealth, and education, they have been democrats in char- 
acter and conduct. That they have enjoyed the esteem and 
affection of the community is evidenced by the many positions of 
honor and trust conferred upon the men, and by the advantageous 
and distinguished marriages of the daughters. They have cared 
little for wealth, but much for the welfare of their kindred, their 
neighbors, their city, state, and nation. They have been society 
leaders in the best sense of the term. In their citizenship they have 
been progressive, and in their patriotism fearless and enthusiastic. 

• » < ? } » 




HILE ambition, the hope of preferment, 
and the love of gain are among the 
chief motives which have inspired 
colonists from time immemorial, yet 
the little god of love sometimes ap- 
pears upon the scene as an actor. In 
1698, among the officers of the British 
fleet stationed in New York harbor 
was Anthony Duane, a handsome 
young Irishman, whose cleverness in 
speech, pleasant manners, and fine ap- 
pearance made him universally loved. 
He was but nineteen years old, and took all the delight of youth 
in the social gayety which prevailed in the little provincial city of 
New York. Before he had been a month in port, he became 
captivated by a Knickerbocker belle, Eve Benson, daughter of the 
wealthy merchant, Dirck Benson. 

The attachment was mutual, and when his ship left the harbor 
to cruise along the route laid for it by the Admiralty, he left as her 
affianced suitor. They were true lovers; although the 
cruise lasted three years, and it was nearly another year 
before he had closed up his accounts, resigned, and 
obtained his discharge from the navy, his betrothed waited 
patiently for him. He returned to New York, where he entered 
commercial life, married, and, as may be supposed, had a happy 



the Founder 

n8 Duane 

married life. There were two sons, who entered the British navy, 
and proved brave and efficient officers. They gave their lives for 
the Crown, both dying of yellow fever at Kingston, Jamaica, while 
stationed at that then plague-infested port. On the death of his 
first wife, Anthony married Althea Keteltas, sister of the famous 
divine, the Rev. Abraham, who was a member of the Continental 
Congress. The union was short, she living but a few years after 
marriage, and leaving four children as its fruit. 

Anthony prospered in business, and, foreseeing the future 
development of New York State, invested his profits in real estate 
in the neighborhood of Schenectady. In May, 1741, he purchased 
six thousand acres in what is now the town of Duanesburgh. He 
owned property in New York City, part of this being the land on 
which is situated Gramercy Park. He made wise use of his 
wealth, and was noted for kindness of heart and unfailing gener- 
osity. Trinity church in his time was not the rich corporation of 
to-day, and oftentimes its expenses exceeded its income. When- 
ever this happened, Anthony was among the first to make good 
the deficit, and to give something over wherewith to provide for 
any new emergency. He was vestryman from 1732 to 1747, the 
time of his death. His third wife was Grietje Riker, widow of 
Thomas Lynch, but their union was childless 

Of his children, James, the jurist [1733], was the most eminent 
of his race. Upon the death of his father, when he was eleven 
james, jurist years of age, he became the ward of Robert Livingston, 
and Patriot third Lord of the Manor, who was executor and 
guardian under the wills of both his father and grandfather. In 
order to perform his duties and to conduct the education of the 
boy in person, Livingston took him to his own home, where he 
made his ward a member of the family. This intimacy was an 
unalloyed blessing. The Livingstons were a brilliant, public- 
spirited, and cultured race. Their mansion was the scene of lavish 
hospitality, and was frequented by the best men of the period. 
It was a school to young Duane than which naught could have 
been better. 

During his life James was a brother to the sons and daughters 

Duane 119 

of the family; but for Maria, the oldest daughter, his sentiments 
were much warmer. The two fell in love; their attachment met 
the approval of the parents, and they were married in 1759. On 
coming of age, James took up the study of the law, and was 
admitted to the bar, where he quickly attained high rank on 
account of his scholarship and judicial ability. From his admission 
to the bar until his death, he seems to have been possessed by a 
restless activity. He performed a vast amount of work upon the 
paternal estate at Duanesburgh, increasing it by many purchases, 
until it covered what is now the entire township. From Europe 
he brought over Scotch, Irish, and German families, gave them 
generous leases, built houses and barns for them, supplied them 
with implements, seeds, and at times with clothing, and in every 
way endeavored to build up a model settlement. 

In public affairs he left a record which is a monument of 
industry and talent. He was a member of the Revolutionary 
Committee of New York, a member of the Continental Congress 
from 1774 to 1784, and was one of the signers of the Articles of 
Confederation at Philadelphia in 1777. In 1775 he took part in 
consummating the Indian treaty at Albany; in 1776 and 1777 he 
was a member of the Constitutional Convention, and one of the 
committee which drafted that important document. He belonged 
to the famous Committee of Safety, and through the war was inde- 
fatigable in his efforts to carry the cause of freedom to a triumphant 
end. On the evacuation of New York by the British forces in 
1783, he returned and was elected a member of the Council. The 
same year he was made State Senator for the term of 1 783-1 790. 
In the latter year he was chosen the first Mayor of the city of New 
York. Four years afterwards he was a delegate to the convention 
which adopted the Federal Constitution and made the Empire 
State a part of the Union. He served as United States District 
Judge from 1789 to 1794, the first incumbent of the office. 

This brief statement of his services gives a poor idea of the 
actual labor expended. James was more than faithful ; he was 
thoughtful, conscientious, and always regardful of the rights of 
others. Thus, in his letter of acceptance of the Mayoralty chair, he 

1 20 2>uane 

requested that, in view of the severity of the season and the distress 
which prevailed upon the closing of the war, the public entertain- 
ments usually given should be dispensed with and the money 
saved be employed in helping along the impoverished. He fol- 
lowed this up with ' ' a subscription of twenty guineas for the relief 
of his suffering fellow-citizens." The day of his appointment as 
Mayor, February 7, 1784, was memorable in the history of the 
Empire State. Besides the beginning of local government, with 
an American in the Mayoralty chair, it was also the day on which 
the Chamber of Commerce was incorporated, the Custom-house 
was established, and the National Congress transferred from Phila- 
delphia to New York. 

The municipality at that time was fashioned after English 
models. Manhood suffrage was still unknown, and municipal 
citizenship was more limited or restricted than state and national. 
The right to vote for any office was still based upon the idea of 
property. It was the representation of wealth and not of the 
individual. The citizen who desired to vote for Assemblyman or 
other state officer was required to pay assessments, and to be 
either a freeholder or a householder paying a rent of at least $5 
per annum. In municipal suffrage, it was necessary to be either 
a freeholder or a freeman. A freeholder was a person of mature 
age, possessing real estate of an annual value of at least forty 
shillings, while a freeman was a person of means or social stand- 
ing in the community, not a freeholder within the limits, who was 
elected to the privilege of freemanship by the local authorities. It 
is a long leap from this condition to that of to-day, when the 
pauper casts his vote alongside of the millionaire. 

Although Mayor Duane was, through his education and 
studies, strongly attached to the English system of government, he 
nevertheless possessed that statesmanship which saw the necessity 
of changing existing conditions to meet new political and social 
forces. Thus, while he believed in a property qualification of 
suffrage, he clearly perceived that it must be modified to meet 
the necessities of American life. What measures he took are not 
known, but that he must have influenced his administration is 

2>uane 121 

shown by the fact that there was a larger admission of freemen to 
the New York City rolls during his term of office than ever before. 

One incident reveals his public spirit. At the close of the 
revolution King's College, which had become Columbia, was 
sadly in need of funds. There had been a meeting of its friends, 
and a committee had been appointed to provide temporarily for 
what might be necessary, although it had not as yet begun its 
work. About this time General James Clinton, with his fifteen- 
year-old boy, De Witt, stopped in New York for a day, intending to 
go on to Princeton and there enter his son. He called upon the 
Mayor, who became deeply interested, and who protested in a 
friendly way against a Clinton being sent out of New York State 
to obtain an education. Inducing the General to promise to defer 
action for the time being, the sturdy Mayor called upon the Rev. 
Dr. William Cochran, who was reputed to be the most learned 
man in the State, whom, upon his own responsibility, he engaged 
to undertake the tuition of young Clinton and such students as 
might apply. Dr. Cochran thereupon became headmaster of the 
grammar school and professor of Greek and Latin, as well as in- 
structor in the "Humanities" — in fact, he appears to have been 
the entire college that year. The fame of Dr. Cochran induced 
General Clinton to enter his son in Columbia instead of Prince- 
ton. His son De Witt was graduated in 1786, along with seven 
other students. 

A graphic picture of political life in the later part of the eight- 
eenth century is afforded by a letter from the jurist to his wife: 

"New York, 30 Sept., 1789. 

" You may remember, my dearest Polly, that 1 could not see 
you set sail on account of the Common Council, which was then 
assembling. I had hardly taken my seat at the Board, when 
I received a message, that Col. Hamilton wished to speak with 
me. He asked me to walk into a private room, and then to my 
surprise informed me that he was sent by the President of the 
United States to know whether I would accept the office of District 
Judge. I told him as 1 never had solicited, expected, or even 

122 Duane 

wished for any office from the President, knowing that he was 
hard pressed by numberless applicants, who stood more in need 
than myself, 1 could not, on a sudden, give him an answer. 
He told me that it was not necessary, and that 1 might take that 
day to consider of it. On inquiring from him, I found these were 
the circumstances attending the affair; very great interest had 
been made for the Chief Justice Morris, for Judge Yates, and Mr. 
Harrison. When the point was to be decided, Col. Hamilton 
and Mr. Jay were present. The President observed that he 
conceived a more respectable appointment than either of the 
gentlemen recommended could be made, and named me. Mr. 
Hamilton and Mr. Jay declared that they were of the same senti- 
ments. On which the President replied that he was pleased to 
find that his opinion was confirmed by theirs, and Col. Hamilton 
was requested to deliver the above message to me. After the 
Common Council had adjourned, I found I was to decide on a 
question of great moment, which greatly concerned my family, 
without an opportunity of consulting with you, or any of the 
children. 1 communicated it to the Baron (Steuben) alone, who 
was very earnest that 1 should accept it. Both offices I considered 
as highly honorable. They are equally profitable. The Judge's 
place is held under the Commission of the President of the United 
States during good behavior; the Mayor's annually renewed at 
the whim of a Council of Appointment. The Judge's office 
permits him to reside in any part of the State, and affords a 
sufficient portion of leisure for his private affairs and recreation 
and study. The Mayor's demands the most slavish confinement 
and a waste of time on insignificant matters, as well as care and 
assiduity on those which are important. In short, if he is upright 
and as he ought to be easy of access, he cannot call an hour of his 
time his own. These are the chief considerations which with the 
honorable manner the office was conferred on me, induced me to 
return an answer in the evening that 1 accepted it. As soon 
as it was known that the Senate approved of my nomination, 
I sent a resignation of the Mayoralty to the Governour. The 
Council of Appointment met the day after and appointed Col. 

Duane 123 

Varick, who relinquished the place of State's Attorney, as my 
successor. The 14th inst. he will be qualified, and 1 clear of it. 
Till then I must administer it. While 1 am writing this letter, 
I received an invitation to dine with the President to-morrow. I 
presume 1 shall then receive my commission, which 1 owe solely 
to his regard for and good opinion of me. . . . 
" Your Affectionate and Faithful Husband, 

James Duane. 
" For Mrs. Duane." 

Three of James's brothers were men ot strong character. 
Abraham [1732] manifested considerable mercantile talent, but died 
when but thirty-five years of age. John [1734] enlisted John 

in the Colonial army, serving under the Crown, and the Soldier 
was an ensign in Colonel Abercrombie's regiment, which defended 
Fort Oswego. He died when just twenty-one years of age from 
disease contracted during that campaign. 

Cornelius [1735] remained in New York City during the war 
to look after the property of his family. He died before the close 
of the war, his death having been superinduced by the privations 
which he had undergone. 

Of the children of James, Adelia married Alfred Pell, by whom 
she had Robert Livingston, James Duane, John Augustus, George 
Washington, and Richard Montgomery, all of whom were promi- 
nent in the first half of the nineteenth century. Maria [1761] 
married General William North, first aide-de-camp to General 
(Baron) Steuben. Sarah married George W. Feathstonhaugh, 
from whom is descended the Duane-Feathstonhaugh family. 

Of the five sons, only one, James Chatham, grew up and 
married. His wife was Marianne Bowers, daughter of Henry 
Bowers of New York City. His life-work was the james 

development of the great Duane estate at Duanes- Chatham 
burgh. It had been increased to 40,000 acres by his father, James, 
the jurist, but what with political changes, industrial discontent, 
financial panics, and anti-rent riots, he lost much of that mag- 
nificent property. 

1 24 Dnane 

In the fourth generation the great figure is James Chatham II. 

[1824], the military engineer. He displayed an aptitude for 

mathematics in mere boyhood, and in school and 

James Chat- 
ham 11.. college excelled in this branch of study. He was 
Engineer graduated at Union (1S44"). and the Military Academy 
at West Point four years later. He served in the United States 
army as engineer, instructor, architect, and builder, lighthouse 
inspector, and commander of a company of engineers in the Utah 
expedition. At the outbreak of the civil struggle he was stationed 
at Fort Pickens. Fla. In 1862, he performed the notable feat of 
bridging the Potomac, and the same year built bridges and 
viaducts across the almost impassable Chickahominy and White 
Oak swamps. 

His greatest feat in this held of work was the construction 
o\ a timber bridge two thousand feet long across the Chickahominy 
River. This was finished in such splendid style that it received 
c >mpliments o\ the generals as well as a warm letter o\ praise 
from the War Department. He was intensely active throughout 
the war. at the close o\ which he was brevetted brigadier-general. 
From 1865 to 1868, he had charge of the construction of the new- 
fortifications at Willetts Point. N. V. In [886, he was appointed 
chief of engineers, with the rank of brigadier-general. He has 
contributed many interesting papers upon topics connected with 
his calling, of which the most important is a Ma 

The Duanes, like the Montgomerys and other distinguished 
families, may be classed with the Livingstons, of which family 
they are portions on the maternal side. They display the - 
general characteristics, and have enjoyed private and public careers 
of similar usefulness. 




HE fate of families as well as of nations 
seems often to turn upon insignificant 
trifles. A young and brilliant man 
goes from England to far-off India to 
carve out a career with the sword, 
but is forced by the climate to return 
to his native land, and thence, by cir- 
cumstance, to the New World, where 
he achieves distinction in using his 
talents against the land of his birth. 
Such, in brief, is the life-record of 
Colonel William Duer, the founder 
of the Duer family in the Empire State. 

His father was a wealthy British planter, whose estates in 
Antigua, West Indies, brought him more than a handsome income. 
The boy, idolized by both father and mother, enjoyed C oionei 
every advantage which wealth could procure. He re- wmiam 
ceived an admirable education at Eton, but in his sixteenth year 
tired of books and schoolboy sports, and, through family connec- 
tions, obtained a position upon the staff of Lord Clive, the com- 
manding general of the English forces in India. He made the long 
voyage in safety, and during the brief period in which he enjoyed 
health in the far East he proved a good soldier and a faithful sub- 
ordinate. Hygiene was a sealed book in those years, and the 
climate of Hindustan was deadlier than the weapons of the rajahs. 

1 28 2>uer 

He broke down with the Indian fever, grew steadily worse, and 
at last was sent home as the only means of regaining his health. 
He reached his native land, but was hardly recognized by his 
relatives. After a short stay in London and Devon, he again took 
ship and went to his father's plantation in Antigua. Here he re- 
gained his health and strength, and with these his ambition. 

In 1768, he tired of West Indian life and sailed for New York, 
where his fine personal appearance, agreeable manners, and strong 
letters of introduction made him welcome to the society of that 
period. He formed the acquaintance of the leading men of the 
province, and especially that of General Schuyler, who took a 
friendly interest in the handsome newcomer. Acting upon the 
General's advice, Duer bought a large tract of forest land at Fort 
Miller, beyond Albany, in what is now Washington County. 
Here he built sawmills, erected cottages, and established a large 
lumber industry. The hard work and rough life suited his adven- 
turous nature admirably. From his settlement he made tours in 
every direction and hunted the bear, wolf, deer, and, it is said, 
the marauding Indian. He became by degrees the leader of the 
woodmen and hunters of northern New York, who were to prove 
in after years some of his best soldiers. From the first he seems 
to have been imbued with radical if not revolutionary sentiments. 
These were the result of practical experience and injustice suf- 
fered, rather than of any iconoclastic disposition. 

The predisposing cause was the foolish and inequitable fiscal 
system of the British government. It bore hard upon the planters 
of the West Indies, who were forever protesting against both the 
laws to which they were subject and the officials who were sent 
out from London to govern them. It bore still harder upon the 
American colonists, who, even in 1768, were in a state of deep- 
seated ferment. In New York, where the presence of British 
ships and soldiers was of benefit to commerce, as well as of en- 
livenment to society, the feeling- of resentment was not so deep or 
general as in the outlying country districts. Thus, as may have 
been noticed by the reader, New York and the surrounding coun- 
ties were Tory hotbeds, while in the interior of the State the 

William Duer 

Member of Continent:)! Congress. From a steel engraving 

Colonel William Duer 

From a miniature 

Lady Catherine Alexander 
(Lady Kitty) 

Wife of Col. William Duer 
From a miniature 

EUier 129 

Royalists were a very small minority. In the northern districts, 
to which Colonel Duer belonged, the leading families, such as 
Schuyler, Van Rensselaer, and Livingston, were strongly opposed 
to existing political conditions. They were not radical or rebel- 
lious, but merely eager to defend their own rights. Most of them, 
in fact, were conservative, and were willing to bear many of the 
ills which seemed to them inseparable from colonial life. As legal 
and political exactions became more onerous in every part of the 
colonies, their discontent deepened into opposition and rebellion. 
In this natural transformation, Colonel Duer moved along with 
all the rest. His military training, his travels, and his wealth 
caused him to become prominent, even among the prominent 
men of his circle. 

He was appointed colonel of militia, judge of the county 
courts, member of the Committee of Safety, a committeeman for 
drafting the State constitution in the Convention of 1777, delegate 
to the Continental Congress, 1777-1778, and secretary of the 
Treasury Board until the formation of the Treasury Department in 
1 789, when he was made Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. He 
was a member of the New York Assembly in 1786, and served upon 
many committees during his long and efficient career. In his na- 
ture there was a curious difference between his desires and his 
talents. Ambition prompted him to be a soldier in the field, while 
circumstance and the bent of his genius kept him as an admin- 
istrator and civil executive in the background. Not until the close 
of his life did he realize that he had been a statesman, and not a 
warrior. Of his ability all his contemporaries speak in terms of 
high praise. He was quick in conception, fertile in planning, tire- 
less in execution, and broad and liberal in judgment. He took no 
part in the intrigues of the time, but devoted himself to the service 
of the people. When he died, in 1799, the event produced univer- 
sal sorrow. He married, in 1779, Lady Catharine Alexander, 
daughter of Major-General William Alexander, Lord Stirling. As 
her father was a Scotch peer, Mrs. Duer was Lady Catharine, or 
Lady Kitty, Duer, and under this title was frequently referred to 
in the literature of the early republic. To her distinguished 

1 30 Duer 

parentage she added the attractions of rare tact, great beauty, and 
many accomplishments. The union was very happy. There 
were eight children, three sons and five daughters. 

Of the latter, Frances [1785] married Beverly Robinson; Sarah 
Henrietta [1786] married John Witherspoon Smith; Maria Theodora 
[1789] married Beverly Chew; Henrietta Elizabeth [1790] mar- 
__,. ried Morris Robinson. The three sons grew up and 

William ° ' 

Alexander, played prominent parts in the history of the metropolis. 

The eldest, William Alexander [1780], seems to have 
inherited his father's restlessness and executive ability. He was a 
very bright boy, and made remarkable progress in his studies. 
Suddenly he developed a love for the sea, and induced his father 
to secure an appointment for him in the United States navy. He 
was one of the first midshipmen, and during his brief life on ship- 
board gave every promise of becoming a brilliant naval officer, but 
the routine of nautical life wearied him, and, to the surprise and 
against the protests of his shipmates, he resigned and took up the 
study of the law. Here he was notably successful. Among his 
other achievements, he assisted Edward Livingston in the com- 
position of the famous Louisiana code. In 1829, he accepted the 
Presidency of Columbia College, which he held thirteen years. 
As an educator, he holds high rank. One official action shows him 
to have been sixty years ahead of his time. He perceived the 
coming importance of science, and established in 1830 a scientific 
course which omitted the classics. This created a storm of protest 
from the pedagogues of the time, and, after a brief trial, public 
opinion proved too strong for the President's position. The course 
was abolished, only to be revived in Columbia, Harvard, and other 
universities at the end of the century. He married Hannah Maria 
Denning, daughter of William Denning. 

John [1782], better known as Judge John, was the scholar and 
jurist of the family. Although a devotee of books, he did not 

neglect his public duties, and was always ready to take 

Judge John 

part in affairs of importance to the State. He was a 
leading member of the State Constitutional Convention of 1821, 
and did much toward the framing of the State charter. He served 

E)uer 131 

as Assistant Justice of the Supreme Court of the State, and, in 1857, 
became its Chief Justice. His judicial opinions are models of legal 
literature, and have placed him in the same rank with Kent, 
Livingston, and Walworth. He found time to write and edit 
many law works, of which several are text-books and authorities 
to-day. He married Anna Bedford Bunner, daughter of George 

Alexander [1793], the third son of Colonel William, was a 
lawyer who had a brief but brilliant career. He was graduated 
with high honors from Columbia in 181 2, and was admitted to the 
bar in 1813, but died six years afterwards. During this time he 
displayed great forensic and juristic ability. He married Maria 

There were twenty children in the third generation, fourteen 
girls and six boys. Of the former, six reached maturity and mar- 
ried, and of the latter, four. The married daughters of William 
Alexander were Frances Maria [1809], who espoused Henry 
Sheaff Hoyt; Eleanor Jones [1814], George Templar Wilson; 
Elizabeth Denning [182 1], Archibald Gracie King. Of the 
daughters of Judge John, Anna H. married the Rev. Pierre P. 
Irving. Of the daughters of Alexander, Catherine A. [1816] mar- 
ried John Beam, and Henrietta [1818], David Gedney. 

William Denning [1812], son of President William Alexander, 
married Caroline King, daughter of James Gore King. Lieutenant- 
Commander John King [18 18], son of William Alexan- ueut.-com- 
der, was an officer in the United States navy. He mand "-john 
married Georgiana Huyler. The other two married sons of 
this generation were the children ot Judge John. The first, 
Judge William Duer [1805], was graduated from judge 

Columbia in 1824, studied law, and was admitted to wiiiiam 

the bar. He was a member of the Assembly from Oswego in 
1840, District Attorney from 1845 to 1847, member of Congress 
from 1847 to 185 1, and thereafter United States Consul in Chili. 
He married his cousin, Lucy Chew, daughter of Beverly Chew. 
The second son of Judge John was George Wickham, who mar- 
ried Catherine Robinson, daughter of Beverly Robinson. 

132 Duer 

The fourth generation was almost as numerous as the third, 
there being thirteen sons and five daughters, nine of the former 
marrying and two of the latter. The two married daughters were 
Mary, daughter of Lieutenant-Commander John King, who married 
Charles Du Pont Breck, and Catherine, daughter of Judge William, 
who married Charles Vincent-Smith. Of the thirteen sons, five 
were the offspring of William Denning. Edward Alexander mar- 
ried Anna Van Buren, daughter of John Van Buren, and 

James Gore ' ° J 

King, granddaughter of President Martin Van Buren. James 

Gore King, a banker and patron of art, was graduated 
from Columbia [i8b2], married Elizabeth Mead, daughter of Or- 
Lieutenant lando Mead of Albany, and is conspicuous in financial 
Rufus King circles. Rufus King was a lieutenant in the United States 
navy, and died at sea. William Alexander, the fourth son, was 
graduated from Columbia in 1869, from the Law School in 1871, 
and is a member of the New York bar. He married Ellen Travers, 
daughter of William Travers. Denning II. was graduated from 
Columbia in 1871, and married Louise Suydam, daughter of Henry 
Suydam. He is a banker, residing in New Haven, Conn. 

Lieutenant-Commander John King Duer had three sons, of 
whom one, William, married Josephine Clark, daughter of Joseph 
Clark. Judge William Duer is represented in this generation by 
John, who was graduated from Columbia in 1859, and from the 
Columbia Law School in 186 1. He married Sarah Du Pont, the 
daughter of Henry Du Pont. Beverly Chew married Sophia Law- 
rence Pool. Of the children of George Wickham, John Beverly 
reached manhood's estate and married Mary Augusta Hamilton. 

In the present, or fifth, generation, the family is very well rep- 
resented. There are thirteen bearing the family name, while the 
branches include such names as Larocque, Mackay, Van Rens- 
selaer, Bronson, King, Irving, McCulloh, Whittemore, Jewett, 
Babcock, Bridgham, Stoney, Relf, Muir, Gause, Labouisse, Eno, 
de Lucca, Nott, Kennedy, Cleveland-Coxe, and Winship. 

From Devon, the home of their race, the Duers have carried 
the characteristics for which that country has been famous in 
English annals. Devonshire folk are Saxon stock, in which there 

2>uer 133 

is a small admixture of Cornish blood. The people are quiet, 
orderly, thoughtful, and prosperous, but beneath their staid ex- 
teriors there is a deep love of romance and adventure. It was 
from Devon that the English sea-kings drew their best captains 
and fighters. In the fleet which fought with bulldog pertinacity 
the Invincible Armada and the navies of Holland, there was always 
a huge contingent from Devon. The poorer classes were smug- 
glers, and well-to-do buccaneers, privateers, and admirals. This 
may explain why, although the average Duer is a lawyer, a 
banker, a merchant, or a diplomat, he is liable at any moment to 
drop the pen for the sword, or to exchange the office and count- 
ing-room for the quarter-deck, or even the forecastle. The 
admixture of the Alexander blood increased the vein of romance 
which belonged to Devon. Both founders of this American 
family, Colonel William on the paternal and Major-General Alex- 
ander, Lord Stirling, on the maternal, were Loyalists by birth and 
training, but Revolutionists by conviction. The one was willing 
to sacrifice his family connections at home and his ancestral 
wealth, the other his titles and privileges, for the abstract idea of 
justice and right. With such an heredity, it would be a marvel 
if the descendants did not take to the army and navy whenever 
the nation called upon the people for aid. 




LMOST from the first settlement of 
New England the nomadic instinct 
asserted itself. From eastern Massa- 
chusetts there was a steady migration 
— north, west, and south. It crossed 
the Sound and invaded Long Island. 
Among the early leaders in this exodus 
was Jonathan Fish, who came from 
Sandwich, Mass. , and founded a home 
in Newtown, L. I., in 1659. Here 
he rose to be a magistrate and a di- 
rector of the town's affairs. For three 
generations the family confined itself to farming, in which all 
seemed to have been prosperous. In the fourth generation [1728- 
'779]> Jonathan Fish had broader views and larger 
ambitions than his ancestors, and entered mercantile 
life in the city of New York. He was well educated for the times, 
and possessed enough wealth and family prestige to make him an 
influential character in the commercial world. He married Eliza- 
beth Sackett, a woman of heroic mould — talented, public-spirited, 
and patriotic. She had the courage of her convictions, and was 
regarded with fear and even, tradition says, antipathy by the 
Tory element which then predominated in New York society. 

There was considerable bitter feeling in those days, and she 
must undoubtedly have had many unpleasant experiences with 


138 jfteb 

the ultra-royalists. Time brings retribution, and when the British 
evacuated Mew York most of the men and women who had an- 
tagonized her in the past emigrated on the war-ships from New 
York to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The virtues of both 
coionei husband and wife were transmitted to their son Nicho- 
Nichoias j as ^ w j 10 was one f t j le h eroes f the Revolutionary 

army. Born in 17S8, he had attended Princeton College and just 
begun the study of law when war broke out between Great 
Britain and the colonies. Though a boy in years, he was a man in 
bravery, shrewdness, common sense, and tremendous will power. 
He rose rapidly in his career, his first office being aide-de-camp to 
Brigadier-General John Morin Scott. He fought well in the battle 
of Long Island, and took an active part in covering the retreat of the 
American forces. He won laurels at Saratoga, where his reckless 
daring elicited high praise. He commanded a body of light in- 
fantry at Monmouth, and was a lieutenant-colonel at the siege of 
Yorktown. The close of the great struggle found him popular 
with the army, admired by the officers, and beloved by the gen- 
erals. He must have had rare tact. The Colonial army, both 
rank and file, at that time was devoured by jealousy, and few 
indeed were those who had not as many enemies in the service 
as friends. The infamous attempt of Gates to ruin Schuyler was 
merely one of a long series of similar undertakings. Yet out of 
this fiery furnace Colonel Nicholas Fish seems to have come un- 

The war over, he devoted himself to civil life, and made his 
mark in municipal, state, and national affairs. He was appointed 
by Washington Supervisor of the Revenue, at that time one of the 
highest positions in the Treasury Department. He served effi- 
ciently as Adjutant-General of the State of New York, and the 
records of the metropolis show that he was identified with many 
of the improvements which changed the little country town into 
a modern city. He retained the friendship of the founders of the 
republic, among whom his dearest colleague was Alexander Ham- 
ilton, whose executor he was. It was in honor of the latter that 
he named his first son, Hamilton. He did not marry until late in 

Nicholas Fish 

From the painting by H. Inman, 1823 

The Hamilton Fish Estate, Garrisons, N. Y. 

jfisb 139 

life, when he wedded, in 1803, Elizabeth Stuyvesant, daughter 
of Peter Stuyvesant and Margaret Livingston, thus bringing to- 
gether three of the most distinguished families in the Empire 
State. He was one of the founders of the famous organization 
known as the Society of the Cincinnati, and took an active part in 
its development during his life. Colonel Fish left two sons and 
three daughters. Of the latter, Susan married Daniel Le Roy. 
From this union descend the Kings, Frenches, and Dressers. 
Margaret Ann married Dr. John Neilson, from which union are 
descended the Howards, Powels, Kings, Barrys, and Armstrongs. 
Elizabeth Stuyvesant married Dr. Richard Lewis Morris, from 
whom are descended the Morris, Marshall, and Mordaunt families 
of to-day. The younger son, Stuyvesant, died in 1834, unmarried. 
The oldest son, Hamilton, was one of the greatest men the 
State has produced. He was born in New York City in 1808 and 
died in 1893. He was graduated from Columbia Col- Hamilton 
lege in 1827, with the highest honors, and was ad- the statesraan 
mitted to the bar in 1830. His activity from this time on was 
phenomenal. He was a successful lawyer, business man, states- 
man, and diplomat. He served as a Congressman, Lieutenant- 
Governor and Governor of the State, and United States Senator. 
When the Civil War broke out he was one of the first to champion 
the cause of the Union. He was Chairman of the Union Defence 
Committee from 1861 to 1865. In 1869, he was appointed United 
States Secretary of State, which post he held during both terms 
of Grant's Administration. He negotiated the great treaty with 
Great Britain which brought about the arbitration of the Alabama 
and Newfoundland fisheries claims. He effected a settlement of 
the Virginius case with Spain, and procured an excellent extradi- 
tion treaty with Great Britain. To him it is due that the inde- 
pendence of Cuba was not recognized in 1869, and that this 
country was then kept out of a war with Spain. He was the first 
statesman to extend the Monroe Doctrine to Hawaii, and is said 
to have been the first to predict its ultimate absorption by the 
United States. So quiet and unostentatious was he in respect 
to his public work that much that he did was allowed to pass 

140 jfteb 

unnoticed at the time. How many veterans of the Civil War are 
there who know that he was one of the first to bring about the 
exchange of prisoners between the North and the South ? There 
was opposition to the project, the opponents declaring, and with 
considerable justice, that we could afford to let Unionists languish 
in the South while we had an equal number of Southerners in the 
Northern military prisons, and that as the North was twice as 
numerous as the South in population, it could crush the latter by 
the gradual capture of soldiers in successive campaigns. Mr. Fish 
and Bishop Ames took the high ground of humanity, and were 
strongly backed by President Lincoln. The exchanges were 
effected, and the returned prisoners quickly proved that the action 
had been a benefit to the republic. These negotiations were put 
through by a commission, of which Mr. Fish and Bishop Ames 
were the two delegates. 

The power of Secretary Fish's personality was well shown by 
a statement of President Grant : "The men, or I may say friends, 
on whose judgment I relied with utmost confidence were, first and 
above all, Hamilton Fish, Senator Edmunds of Vermont, Mr. Bout- 
well ot Massachusetts, and Admiral Ammen of the navy. I had 
a multitude of other friends of whose friendship I was proud and 
rejoice, but when people speak of those whose counsels I sought 
and accepted, they were those four men whom I have mentioned, 
and, above all, Hamilton Fish." It is pleasant to note that Secre- 
tary Fish was the first Cabinet officer who advocated the applica- 
tion of the civil-service system to the consular appointments of 
the President. He laid the corner-stone, but the politicians have 
prevented any further action since his period. His intention was 
to have a body of educated and trained officials similar to those 
employed by Great Britain and Germany. He objected strongly 
to sending consuls to France who could not speak French, to 
China who were utterly ignorant of Oriental civilization, and to 
civilized cities men whose manners and education unfitted them 
for the court and drawing-room. His inexhaustible vitality is 
well exemplified by the number of prominent offices in public 
and private life he filled with marked credit. For thirty-nine 

jfteb 141 

years he was President-General of the Society of the Cincinnati, 
and six years its Vice-President-General. He was a trustee of 
Columbia College for fifty-three years, and Chairman of the Board 
of Trustees for thirty-four years. He held such other high offices 
as the Presidency of the New York Historical Society, trusteeship 
of the Lenox Library, Astor Library, and Peabody Educational 
Fund, and Presidency of the Union League Club. 

Secretary Fish married Miss Julia Kean in 1836; they had 
eight children, five daughters and three sons. The oldest daugh- 
ter, Sarah, married Sidney Webster; the second, Elizabeth Stuy- 
vesant, Frederick S. G. d'Hauteville; the third, Julia Kean, Colonel 
Samuel N. Benjamin, U. S. A.; the fourth, Susan Le Roy, Wil- 
liam E. Rogers; and the fifth, Edith, Oliver Northcote. Of the 
three sons, Nicholas, the oldest, was born in 1846. 

Nicholas II. 

He is a graduate of Columbia College, Dane Law 
School, and Harvard University. His life has been devoted to 
diplomacy, law, and banking. He served as Assistant Secretary, 
and afterward Secretary, of the United States Legation at Berlin, 
Charge d'Affaires to Switzerland, and as United States Minister 
to Belgium. He married Miss Clemence S. Bryce, and had one 
son and one daughter. The former, Hamilton III., 

j- ., j~ j e ,i . ^ , , . , , Hamilton III. 

was one of the first to fall in Cuba during the late war 
with Spain. The young soldier showed the same reckless daring 
as his great grandfather in the Revolution. Nicholas Fish is 
Vice-President of the New York Society of the Cincinnati. The 
second son, Hamilton Fish II., born 1849, is a graduate 
of Columbia College (1869), and of the Law School 
(1873). He served his father, while the latter was Secretary of 
State, as private secretary from 1869 to 1871. He was Speaker 
and member of the New York Assembly (1874- 1876), and a mem- 
ber of the New York Aqueduct Commission (1886-1888). He 
married Miss Emily N. Mann, by whom he had five children, 
among them Hamilton Fish IV. The third son of 
Hamilton Fish I., Stuyvesant, was born in 1851. He 
is a graduate of Columbia College of the class of 1871. The 
same year he was graduated he entered the service of the Illinois 

i42 Jfteb 

Central Railroad, of which he became President. He is a promi- 
nent officer in several important railroad, insurance, and financial 
institutions. He married Miss Marion G. Anthon, by whom he 
had three children — a daughter, Marion Anthon, and two sons, 
Stuyvesant II. and Sidney Webster. 

The keynote of the record of the Fish family is patriotism. 
All who have attained distinction have won and enjoyed posi- 
tions of public trust. Before the Revolution, when the country 
was small and opportunities few, they were magistrates and 
village trustees. With the birth of the nation they rose to higher 
but similar responsibilities. In the many offices they have held 
they have been marked by a conscientious and even punctilious 
sense of duty. They inherit powerful physiques, and are able 
to do more work than men with poorer and weaker frames. 
This physical superiority has marked their race for at least two 
centuries, and may be connected with the success which nearly 
all of them have attained in life. 




JN the seventeenth century, the Indian 
tribes of New England seem to have 
been more belligerent than those of 
the Middle States. The annals of the 
Pilgrims and Puritans are a long list of 
skirmishes and battles with the red 
men, while those of the Knickerbock- 
ers contain but very few. It may be 
that the gentle and peaceful Dutchmen 
were better adapted to deal with the 
aborigines than were the hot-blooded 
and impulsive dissenters of England 
and Wales. 
The story of the pioneers of the Eastern States is full of fight- 
ing and bloodshed. These marked the career of Lion Gardiner 
the first Lord of the Manor of Gardiner's Island, N. Y., Lion the 
and the founder of the Gardiner family in America. He Founder 
was born in England in 1599, and received a more than ordinary 
education. As he grew up, he manifested independence of 
thought, and even in his early youth was a dissenter and a friend 
of the Puritans. He was brave and ambitious. Shortly after 
coming of age, he volunteered and joined the English army in 
Holland. This body of men garrisoned several towns and were 
called upon to perform all kinds of military duty. 

Here young Gardiner is referred to in the ancient records as 

10 145 

146 (BarMner 

" An Engineer and Master of Works of Fortification in the Leaguers 
of the Prince of Orange in the Low Countries." Even in those 
days this was a position of high importance, which necessitated 
professional skill and technical knowledge on the part of the 
occupant. He must have been a thorough master of his craft 
because, while in Holland, he was waited on by " certain eminent 
Puritans acting for a company of Lords and gentlemen in England, 
who approached him with an ofter to go to New England and 
construct works of fortification and command them." He must 
have refused this offer at first, because the record states that the 
Committee finally secured him through the persuasion of the Rev. 
Hugh Peters, the Rev. John Davenport, and some other "well 
affected Englishmen of Rotterdam." The contract was a good 
one, judged by the standards of the time. He was to have a 
salary of one hundred pounds per annum for a term of four years, 
and himself and family were to receive transportation and sub- 
sistence to the place of destination. His work was to consist 
"only in the drawing, ordering, and making of a city, town, 
and forts of defence under the direction of John Winthrop, the 

About this time, he married Mary Wilemson, daughter of 
Derike Wilemson of Woerdon, Holland. They arrived at Boston, 
Mass., in November, 1635. The bark in which he had crossed the 
sea needed repairs before proceeding to the Connecticut River, 
where a fort was to be constructed. Gardiner welcomed the 
delay, as it gave him an opportunity to see the "New World, of 
which he had heard so many strange stories. But the thrifty 
Yankees did not propose to lose the opportunity his presence 
offered. They set him to work fortifying their own neighbor- 
hood, completing one fort on Fort Hill which had been begun 
by Governor Winthrop and another at Salem. Gardiner finished 
the first, and then visited Salem to look over the topography of 
the place. 

He returned in high dudgeon and told the Boston elders that 
the people of Salem were in far greater danger of starvation than 
of any "foreign, potent enemy," and recommended that they 

Oarbiner H7 

defer fortifications for the present and help the town make a 
livelihood. In the spring, he continued his journey and landed 
at the mouth of the Connecticut River. There he built the first 
fort in that part of the country. It was erected on a steep hill by 
the riverside, which was flanked by salt marshes and accessible 
only by a sandy beach from the mainland. The walls were made 
of square hewn timber, with palisade and ditch, and the nar- 
row isthmus was further protected by a second palisade. The 
stronghold was named Saybrooke from Lord Say and Lord 

The work was done under dangerous auspices. Near them 
were the Pequots, who could turn out seven hundred warriors 
upon the beating of the war-drum, and beyond the Pequots were 
the Narragansetts and Mohegans, even stronger tribes. Still further 
away were the Dutch of New Amsterdam, who laid claim to the 
territory, and who viewed the newcomers as trespassers, if not 
as rogues. From the first, there was trouble with the red man. 
In the trying ordeal which followed, Gardiner displayed courage, 
wisdom, and knowledge of human nature. Had things been left 
to his control, there would have been scarcely any trouble, but 
the Massachusetts Commissioners were hasty and at times ill-tem- 
pered. They misunderstood the Indians, and so angered them as 
to bring war upon the settlement. In the fighting which ensued, 
Gardiner proved worthy of his name of Lion. One day he was 
struck by more than twenty arrows, but his buff coat preserved 
him, only one inflicting injury. The Indians, seeing him fall 
covered with shafts, thought that he was dead, and three days 
afterwards, when they made a second attack, and he promptly 
appeared at the head of the defenders, they were astonished 
beyond bounds. He increased this effect by firing two great 
guns, which caused "a great hubbub among them." 

That year Governor Vane wrote to Gardiner asking him to 
prescribe the best way to quell the Pequots. In his reply, Gardiner 
sent an Indian arrow that had killed one of his men, with the head 
sticking fast half through the man's rib bone. This arrow, rather 
than the letter, had the desired result. By return ship the Governor 

:_; 3arMner 

senttwer: 1 men from Massachus " 1 3 reinforce the 

garrison. of the people favored the passive policy, 

Gardiner advocated earning the war into Africa and attacking the 
Pequot stronghold i the Thames River. This 

plan was adopted by the colonists. A coalition was made be: 
the settlr ^ansetts. and the Mohegans against the 

Pequots. Gardiner. Mason, and Underhill were placed in com- 
mand, and together the allies descended upc tre in 
one brief hour the warlike Pe- e nearly exterminated. 
Those who were not killed in the engagement were hunted down 
by the Narragansetts and Mohegans. That day witnessed the 
obliteration of one of the most formidable tribes that ever lived 
- rd. 

This victory had far-reaching consequences. The destruction 
of the Pequot power left the tribal supremacy open, and : - : - 

gansetts, who were now the strongest, promptly came forward 
and claimed the honor of sovereignty. They demanded tribute 
from every other tribe in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Long 

:. and sent runners as far nortr :ny of the 

tribes paid tribute, but the Montauks of Long Island declined, 
ianch, their sachem, came to Saybrooke to make friends 
with the White Chief Gardiner, and to ask for his trade as well as 
his protection. His request was promptly granted. Ir. 
Gardiner's contract came to an end by limitation. In the meantime, 
he had won the affection of Wyanc ho secured for him 

Gardiner's Island, then known as Manchonac. and a formal con- 
;e from Yovawan. the local sachem, ar_ ; ::hem, 

and wife. This deed is still in e c jrding to tradition, 

the consideration paid for the : ne large black dog, one 

gun, a quantity of powder and shot, some rum, and a few Dutch 
blankets. The Captain moved over to his new estate, and there 
began the arduous task of improving the land. The sarr.r 

he obtained a grant from the royal government creating his 
estate a manor and lordship. He took good care of his red 
neighbors, who manifested their gratitude by presenting hirr. 
various tracts of land. He obtained others by purchase, and before 


w fit i.^ f r* 

; i 

*■ 4 1 JLfc4 

[ 4 * H>4 


c e 

(BarMner 149 

his death was the owner of an estate of noble size and fertility. 
He died at the age of sixty-four. 

David [1636], Lion's only son, was educated in England, where 
he met and married Mistress Mary Leringman, widow, of West- 
minster. His was a busy life. Gardiner's Island was David the 
mainly woody wilderness, and his possessions on the Second Lord 
mainland were scarcely better. By degrees, he converted the 
territory into a rich property, and added to it by purchasing various 
tracts on the eastern end of Long Island. He was public-spirited, 
and took a lively interest in the affairs of the time. In the struggle 
between Holland and England, he was a stanch advocate of the 
mother country, and was one of the resolute land-owners who made 
and held eastern Long Island as a part of the colony of Connecticut. 
It was his practice to attend the General Assembly of the latter 
province as the representative of the east-end towns of Southold 
and Easthampton. While serving in this capacity, he died, in 1689. 
Upon his tomb in New Haven is the following quaint epitaph: 

. "Here lyeth the body of Mr. David Gardiner of Gardiner's 
Island, deceased, July 10, 1689, in the fifty-fourth year of his age. 
Well, sick, dead, in one hour's space. Engrave the remembrance 
of death on thy heart, when as thou doest see how quickly hours 

The leader of the third generation was John [166 1], oldest son 
of David, and third proprietor of Gardiner's Island. His life was 
well summed up by one of his descendants in the j hnthe 
early part of the 18th century, who said: "John was a Third Lord 
hearty, active, robust man; generous and upright; sober at home 
and jovial abroad, and swore sometimes; but always kept a 
chaplain on the island. He was a good farmer, and always made 
good improvements on the island; he made a great deal of money, 
although a high liver, and had a great deal to do for his four 
wives' connections; he gave them, for those times, large por- 
tions." His first wife was Mary King, by whom he had seven 
children; his second, Sarah Chandler, by whom he had two; his 
third and fourth, Elizabeth Allyn and Elizabeth Hedges, by whom 
he had no issue. 

15° (Sar&iner 

John was the hero of many romantic stories in the 18th cen- 
tury on account of his having received a visit from the redoubtable 
Captain Kidd. Unfortunately for the romances, the facts were 
few and commonplace. In June, 1699, the freebooter, in his sloop 
San Antonio, arrived in the roadstead near Gardiner's Island. 
John, after waiting two days, called upon the vessel, and made 
the acquaintance of the pirate captain, who proved very civil and 
well-behaved. They transacted some business in which Kidd 
showed himself to be both courteous and generous, making 
presents to both Gardiner and Mrs. Gardiner, and asking the 
former to take care of some goods and treasure until his return. 
Without Gardiner knowing it, Kidd buried considerable treasure 
upon the island. Those who have dreamed of the vast booty of 
the immortal pirate-craft, will be somewhat disappointed in know- 
ing that the treasure consisted of 1 100 ounces of gold, 2000 ounces 
of silver, and 17 ounces of precious stones, and in value amounted 
to about thirty thousand dollars. 

David [1691], oldest son of John, was the fourth Lord of the 
Manor. Of him the old record says: " David was much of a 
David the gentleman and a good farmer, and kept about 200 head 
Fourth Lord f cattle, 40 horses, and 3000 sheep; and was some- 
thing of a hunter, having killed in one year 365 wild ducks and 
6s wild geese." He improved his estate in many particulars, 
brought farm laborers from Connecticut, and developed traffic 
between Southold and New Haven. 

Captain Samuel [1695], brother of David, settled in Easthamp- 
ton, L. I., where for many years he was the chief citizen of the 
place. He married Elizabeth Coit, by whom he had two children. 

Captain Joseph [1697], a third son of John, settled in Groton, 
Conn., where he was a farmer, trader, and ship-owner, 

Capt. Joseph 

and built up a large estate. He married Sara Grant, by 
whom he had six children. 

In the fifth generation were several members of importance. 
„ . Colonel Abraham ri 72 1 1, son of the fourth Lord of the 

Col. Abraham L ' J ' 

Manor, was a patriotic citizen and a shrewd business 
man. Though a patriot in convictions, he felt it his duty to remain 



(BarMner 151 

neutral during the Revolution, on account of his representing the 
Gardiner estate in which so many of his relatives, especially 
minor children, were vitally interested. His son, however, 
Dr. Nathaniel [1759], entered the Colonial army with Dr. Nathaniel 
his father's consent, and made the parental mansion the Patriot 
his headquarters. The Colonel married Mary Smith, by whom 
he had five children. His kinsmen, John, Jeremiah, Samuel, and 
John, Jr., of Easthampton, were staunch Revolutionists, and made 
the family name feared and respected by the British forces. 

The fifth Lord of the Manor was John [17 14]. He j hnthe 
married, first, Elizabeth Mulford, and, second, Deborah Fifth Lord 
Lothrop Avery. 

In the sixth generation were many members of eminence. 
David [1738], sixth Lord of the Manor, began to build the Manor 
house, but he died of consumption before it was David the 
finished. He married Jerusha Buel, by whom he had sixth Lord 
two sons. John, his brother [1747], settled on Eaton's "Neck, and 
was the founder of a powerful branch. He married Joanna Conk- 
ling, by whom he had nine children. Upon her death, he married, 
second, Rachel Gardiner, his cousin, and, third, Mistress Hannah 
Havens, a widow. He inherited a handsome fortune, and in- 
creased it largely by his own exertion. 

Captain Abraham [1763] was the chief citizen of Easthampton 
of his time. Daniel Denison [1763], son of William, was a builder, 
lumberman, and contractor in central New York, where he was 
instrumental in the development of Ogdensburg, and in the 
founding of the lumber business in that part of the State. He 
married Eunice Otis, by whom he had six children. 

Dr. John [1752] was the ablest of his period. At the breaking 
out of the Revolution he volunteered on the colonial side, where 
he became assistant surgeon. Captured by the British, 
he was imprisoned on the hospital ship Jersey at the 
Wallabought, but owing to his extraordinary vitality he survived 
the horrors of that infamous prison. After the war, he began to 
practise his profession in Southold, and became celebrated for his 
skill throughout New York State. In difficult cases, he was called 

152 (BarMner 

upon to go to distant points, and on several occasions to New 
York City, which was then two days' journey distant. He mar- 
ried, first, Abigail Worth, by whom he had six children: and, 
second, Margaret Moore, by whom he had two. Another talented 
Howeii son was Howell [1776], son of Jeremiah, who was an 
the inventor inventor of great talent, making many improvements in 
the machinery used by the mills of his time. He settled in Green- 
field, N. Y., where he was Justice of the Peace for twenty years, 
and a member of the Assembly for three terms. He married, first, 
Elenor Groesbeck, and, second, Phoebe Weed. By his first wife, 
there were five children, and by his second, one. 

The seventh generation brought forward many men of dis- 
tinction. John Lyon [1770], the seventh Lord of the Manor, was 
john the graduated at Princeton (1789). He was essentially a 
Seventh Lord sc holar and antiquarian, wrote many valuable mono- 
graphs upon historical and biographical subjects, and made a 
notable collection of ancient books, manuscripts, and relics of 
historic interest. He married Sarah Griswold, by whom he had 
five children. 

David, his brother [1772], was graduated at Princeton (1789), 
and settled in Flushing, L. I., where he was prominent in public 
and church affairs. He was among the first to introduce the 
culture of Spanish merino sheep on Long Island. By his first 
wife, Julia Havens, he had three children ; by his second wife, 
Lydia Dann, he had no issue. 

David, the lawyer [1784], son of Abram, was graduated from 
Yale (1804), studied law with Sylvanus Miller, and was admitted 
David the to the New York bar in 1807. He settled in East- 
senator hampton, and, having amassed a fortune, gave up legal 
practice for literature and politics. He wrote much historical mat- 
ter of value, and served as State Senator from 1824 to 1828. He 
married Juliana McLachlan, by whom he had four children. His 
daughter Juliana married John Tyler, the President of the United 

Samuel Smith [1789], brother of David the lawyer, was a 
lawyer and political leader. Among the offices he filled were the 

(Sarfciner 153 

following : Secretary of the New York Constitutional Convention, 
1821; Assemblyman, 1823-24; and Deputy Collector, Port of New 
York, 1825-28. He resided in New York City and at 

' y Samuel Smith 

his manor on Shelter Island. He was twice married, 

first to Mary Catharine L'Hommedieu, by whom he had three 

children, and, second, to Susan Mott. 

Baldwin [1791], son of John, was for many years a wealthy 
and influential merchant in New York City. He married Louise 
Leroy Veron, by whom he had nine children. 

The Rev. John David [1781] was a famous Biblical scholar 
and pulpit orator in the first half of the nineteenth century. He 
was graduated from Yale (1804) and took sacred orders „ , L ^ 

& V T/ Rey j oh „ J} 

(181 1). He had congregations in New Jersey and New 
York. His first wife was Frances Mulford, by whom he had 
three children, and his second, Mary L'Hommedieu, by whom he 
had eleven. 

In the eighth generation, David Johnson [1804] was graduated 
from Yale [1824). He was the eighth proprietor of Gardiner's 
Island, and died unmarried and intestate (1829). This David j. the 
broke the entail, which had continued from the days Ei e hth Lord 
of Lion the Founder. John Griswold [1812], his brother, the 
ninth proprietor of the estate, was a scholarly and hospitable man, 
noted for his courtesy and benefactions. He died unmarried. 
Samuel Buell [18 15], the third brother, became the tenth proprie- 
tor. Like the other two, he was scholarly, hospitable, and 
philanthropic. He married Mary Thompson of New York, by 
whom he had four children. 

In the ninth generation, David Johnson II., son of Samuel 
Buell, was the eleventh proprietor. His brother, John Lyon, 
the twelfth proprietor, married Coralie Livingston David j. 
Jones of New York, by whom he has had five chil- EleventhLord 
dren: Coralie Livingston, Adele Griswold, Lyon, John, johnL. 
and Winthrop. Mrs. John Lyon is the President of TwelfthLord 
the Colonial Dames of America, representing through marriage 
and descent no less than seventeen of the founders of the re- 
public. Their daughter, Adele Griswold, won national fame by 

154 (BarMner 

her services to the nation during the late war with Spain. She 
was one of the first to volunteer when the Government made 
AdeieGris- a ca " ' or nurses, and served through the conflict, under 
woid, Patriot ^e R ec j Cross, without compensation. She not only 
paid her own expenses, but gave largely of her means to the sick 
and wounded of both American and Spanish armies. Her hero- 
ism should be long remembered. A delicate and refined woman, 
she not only served unfalteringly upon the the field, but labored 
in the yellow-fever hospitals gladly and without fear. 

The Gardiners are more like the English landed gentry than 
any other American family. For more than two hundred and 
fifty years they have owned and lived upon the family estate. 
They are the only family which has been bound by the feudal 
law of primogeniture and entail for eight generations. They have 
been identified with the soil and have won success in agriculture, 
horticulture, stock-raising, sheep-farming, and the other ancient 
industries of husbandry. They have been prominent socially 
from the days of Governor Winthrop to the present time, and have 
dispensed hospitality with the same generous hand as they have 
charity to those less fortunate. Where they have entered profes- 
sional life, they have made capable lawyers, admirable physicians, 
and eloquent and devout divines. In their leisure they have been 
students, historians, and scholars. In every war they have come 
bravely forward on behalf of their land, and in peace have busied 
themselves in increasing the welfare of their neighborhood. 




HE great romances of the world are not 
those of the novelist, but of actual 
life. What can be more picturesque 
than the story of a poor boy who 
comes to a strange land, and there, 
through a marvellous combination of 
bravery, courtesy, tact, and intellect- 
uality, rises to be one of its immortals, 
and who, at the very zenith of his 
course, is cut down by the bullet of a 
jealous rival ? This was the career 
of Alexander Hamilton, one of the 

He was born [1757] on the island of 
His father was James 


fathers of the Republic. 

Nevis, Leeward Isles, British West Indies. 

Hamilton, the fourth son of Alexander Hamilton, Laird 

of Grange and Kambus-Keith, one of the oldest of the 

cadet branches of the Scotch family of Hamilton. James was a 

proprietor at Nevis, where he was engaged in commerce. He 

seems to have been a dreamer and a poet, rather than a business 

man. His enterprise was unavailing, and nearly all of his life he 

was involved in commercial and legal troubles. On his mother's 

side, Alexander was descended from a distinguished Huguenot 

family named Faucette. 

The Leeward Islands have often been compared to the Land 
of the Lotus-eaters. They are conducive to calm and even to 

158 "Ibamilton 

indolence. Only the strongest wills are able to overcome the 
sensuous charms of the place. In a community where educa- 
Aiexander tion was backward and where ambition was looked at 
esman with pity, Alexander soon attracted attention by his 
desire to rise in life. The people of the place helped him in many 
ways. He received a fair English training, and a course in French 
so thorough that before he was twenty he was able to write and 
speak that tongue with the fluency of a native. Oddest of all, he 
attended for some time the school of a poor Jewess, who taught 
him the Decalogue and many prayers in Hebrew, which he was 
wont to recite when but a child to the astonishment of his towns- 
people. At seven he had become a devotee of books, almost 
a bookworm. 

When twelve, he secured employment with Nicholas Cruger, 
a wealthy St. Croix merchant. From this period a letter is pre- 
served which shows the precocity of the lad. 

"St. Croix, Nov. ii, 1769. 

" Dear Edward : 

''This serves to acknowledge the receipt of yours per Capt. 
Lowndes, which was delivered me yesterday. The truth of Capt. 
Lightbowen and Lowndes's information is now verified by the 
presence of your father and sister, for whose safe arrival 1 pray, 
and that they may convey that satisfaction to your soul, that 
must naturally flow from the sight of absent friends in health; and 
shall for news this way refer you to them. As to what you say, 
respecting your soon having the happiness of seeing us all, I wish 
for an accomplishment of your hopes, provided they are concomi- 
tant with your welfare, otherwise not ; though doubt whether I 
shall be present or not, for, to confess my weakness, Ned, my 
ambition is prevalent so that I contemn the grovelling condition 
of a clerk, or the like, to which my fortune condemns me, and 
would willingly risk my life, though not my character, to exalt 
my station. 1 am confident, Ned, that my youth excludes me 
from any hopes of immediate preferment, nor do I desire it ; but 1 
mean to prepare the way for futurity. I 'm no philosopher, you 

"Ibamllton 159 

see, and may be justly said to build castles in the air ; my folly 
makes me ashamed, and beg you'll conceal it; yet, Neddy, we 
have seen such schemes successful, when the projector is constant. 
I shall conclude by saying I wish there was a war. — 1 am, dear 
Edward, yours, 

Alex. Hamilton." 

(Addressed to Edward Stevens in New York.) 

This from a stripling of twelve, living in the lazy atmosphere 
of the Antilles! It was almost a miracle. In that letter the man 
can be discerned in embryo, resolute but discreet, ambitious but 
conscientious, adventurous but upright, hopeful and faithful, affec- 
tionate and tactful, brilliant but patient. 

These qualities must have exerted a profound influence upon 
all those around him. Three years afterwards his employer and 
some other friends sent him to the colonies to perfect his educa- 
tion. According to family tradition, he could have been sent to 
England, but, with a wisdom beyond his years, preferred America 
as possessing greater opportunities for his youthful ambitions. He 
entered a school at Elizabethtown, where he fitted himself for 
college within a year, and in 1774 was matriculated at King's 
College, now Columbia University. Here he proved himself a 
brilliant student, standing in the front rank in all his classes. Even 
now the storm was brewing which was to culminate in the Revo- 
lution. From the first he espoused the cause of the colonies. 
The very year he entered college he began to speak and write 
against the Crown, and to advocate armed resistance to oppres- 
sion. With a sincerity as rare in those days as it is at the present 
time, he practised what he preached. Advising others to learn 
the arts of war, he himself took up fencing, the use of firearms, 
and the clumsy manual of tactics of that period. In March, 1776, 
he volunteered, and, although but nineteen years of age, so 
strongly had he impressed himself upon the authorities that he 
was appointed captain of a New York company of artillery. Even 
before his commission had been issued he was in the field. 

In that year and the following he took part in the battles of 

160 Ibamilton 

Long Island, White Plains, Trenton, Princeton, and the crossing 
of the Raritan River. In battle and camp he showed himself to 
be a soldier of the Chevalier Bayard type, brave as a lion before 
his enemies, gentle and kind as a woman to his own troops. The 
love which he won from his men soon extended to the other 
commands of the American forces, so that no surprise was created 
when, in March, 1777, he was made lieutenant-colonel and aide- 
de-camp to George Washington. He resigned this honorable 
position in 1781, but it was to secure greater liberty of action, and 
not to obtain rest after four strenuous years of service. Immedi- 
ately after his resignation was accepted, he started new projects 
on his own account, and soon was at the head of an infantry regi- 
ment. Here he must have been in his element, because his men 
were mainly veterans, and his next in command was Major 
Nicholas Fish, a soldier as brilliant as himself. They took part at 
the siege of Yorktown, and in October of that year carried one of 
the strongest British redoubts at the point of the bayonet. 

The surrender of Cornwallis was the practical end of the war. 
Unlike many other soidiers, Hamilton did not wait for a military 
or civil commission as a reward for his services in the field. He 
dropped the sword and took up the practice of the law. He cared 
for war only as a means to an end. He never was confused by 
false glory. Neither, on the other side, did he have that shrinking 
and fear of the military power which have marked so many able 
lawyers and diplomats. This was noticeable during the imbroglio 
of the United States with France (1798), when Hamilton was ap- 
pointed Washington's Inspector- General and second in command. 
The following year, when Washington died, he was made Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the American armies. Here, fortunately for 
the cause of humanity, his services were not required, the army 
was disbanded, and its leader retired to civil life. He was an able 
lawyer, an eloquent speaker, and a brilliant writer. His essays on 
political science, embodied in The Federalist are masterpieces. 

In 1789 he was made Secretary of the Treasury, a position at 
that time fraught with onerous duties. He formulated and carried 
through his funding and banking systems, and won the reputation 

Mrs. Alexander Hamilton 

From the painting by Inman 

Ibamilton 161 

of being the greatest American financier of his age. The man's 
activities were boundless. He served four years in the Continental 
Congress and one year in the New York State Assembly. He 
was a member of the Constitutional Convention, and the author 
of several hundred essays upon political, legal, financial, and mili- 
tary topics. He was a tremendous personality, who blocked or 
barred the ambitions of scores of smaller men. So long as he lived 
there was but little opportunity for them to realize their aspirations. 
For years the air was filled with rumors of impending duels 
between Hamilton and various politicians of that period. Of the 
many who desired his end, Burr seems to have been the only one 
with enough courage to attempt the deed. 

Hamilton was as successful in love as in war and civil life. 
Just after the battle of Saratoga he met Elizabeth Schuyler, 
daughter of General Philip Schuyler, one of the most beautiful 
and accomplished women of that period, whom he married in 

Hamilton had six sons, who seem to have inherited the 
virtues of both their parents. Philip [1782], the oldest, named 
after his grandfather Philip Schuyler, was graduated with high 
honors from Columbia in 1800, but was killed in a duel the 
following year, on the very spot where his father was to die three 
years afterwards. 

Alexander [1786], the second son, was graduated from 
Columbia in 1804, and was admitted to the bar, but went abroad 
and was with the Duke of Wellington's army in captain 
Portugal, where he learned military tactics and AlexanderI1 - 
strategy. On hearing rumors of an impending conflict between 
Great Britain and the United States, he returned home, volun- 
teered, and was made a captain of infantry. He served as aide- 
de-camp to General Morgan Lewis, making an excellent record. 
In 1822 he was appointed United States District Attorney for 
Florida, and in 1823 Florida Land Commissioner. He was active 
in developing that State, and when his work was over returned 
to the North, where during the remainder of his life he was busy 
in the development of real estate on Manhattan Island. 

1 62 Ibamilton 

James Alexander [1788], the third son, was graduated from 
Columbia in 1805. He served in the War of 1812 as major and 
james inspector. President Jackson made him Secretary of 

Alexander State ad interim in 1829. The next month he was 

awyer a pp j n ^ et j United States District Attorney for the 
Southern District of New York. He led a long and eventful life, 
being prominent in legal, political, literary, and social circles. 

John Church [1792], the fourth son, was graduated from 
Columbia in 1809, and became a successful lawyer. During the 
John church War of 181 2 he was a lieutenant and afterwards an 
the Author aide-de-camp to General Harrison. He is perhaps best 
known as an author, his chief work being the Memoirs of his 
father, whose writings he also edited. William Steven [1797], 
the fifth son, was a student in the United States Military Acad- 
emy, served as a colonel in the Black Hawk War, and held many 
offices of honor and trust in Illinois, Wisconsin, and California, 
where he closed his life. The youngest son, Philip [1802] was 
jud ePhiu an Assistant District Attorney in New York City, and a 
Judge Advocate of the Naval Retiring Board. The 
generation was notable for the high attainments of all its 

The third generation, of which many members are still alive, 
has ably sustained the reputation of its predecessors. Of the 
children of James Alexander, Alexander 111. was a distinguished 
lawyer and diplomat who served as Secretary of Legation at 
Madrid under Washington Irving, Minister ; Eliza, who married 
George L. Schuyler, the philanthropist ; and Mary Morris, who 
married her brother-in-law after the death of her sister. Of the 
children of John Church Hamilton, who married Maria Eliza Van 
den Heuval, daughter of Baron Van den Heuval, the most distin- 
Major-Generai guished in military circles is Major-General Schuyler 
schuyier Hamilton [1822]. He was graduated at West Point in 
1 84 1, and served with honor in the Mexican war. From 1847 to 
1854 he was aide-de-camp to Gen. Winfield Scott. At the out- 
break of the civil conflict he volunteered as a private in the Seventh 
Regiment, rose to be an officer on the staff of Gen. Benjamin F. 

John Church Hamilton 

From a photograph 

Monument to Alexander Hamilton, 
at Weehawken, N.J. 

Ibamilton 163 

Butler, and thereafter military secretary to General Scott. He 
next was assistant chief of staff to General Halleck, with the rank 
of colonel. Made brigadier-general in November, 1861, he took 
part in the operations of the Armies of the Tennessee and the 
Cumberland, and displayed such ability that he was made major- 
general in 1862. In February, 1863, he broke down from ill-health 
due to exposure, which kept him an invalid for several years. 
Since 1871 he has devoted himself to hydrographic engineering 
and authorship. 

Charles Apthorp, another son of John Church, inherited his 
father's legal ability, and after a successful career at the bar rose 
to be Supreme Court Judge of Wisconsin. William judge charies 
Gaston [1832], fourth son of John Church, is a civil Apthorp 
and mechanical engineer, inventor, and scientist. He was presi- 
dent and engineer of the Jersey City Locomotive Works, presi- 
dent of the Hamilton Steeled-Wheel Company, 


consulting mechanical engineer to the Pennsylvania Gaston, 
Railroad, and a director of the Mexican, Central Ameri- Engineer 
can, and South American Telegraph Company. He is prominent 
in New York philanthropies, being an officer in many charita- 
ble associations, hospitals, and other institutions. He married 
Charlotte Pierson. 

Alexander, of Tarrytown, is another son of John Church, who 
is prominent in patriotic and church circles. 

The daughters of John Church were Charlotte Augusta, Maria 
Eliza (Peabody), Adelaide, Elizabeth (Cullum), and Alice, all of 
whom were distinguished in the philanthropic world. 

Of Philip, the leading representative is Dr. Allen McLane 
[1848]. He was graduated from the College of Physicians and 
Surgeons (Columbia University) in 1870, and is a Dr. Alien 
medical practitioner in New York City. As an alienist McLane 
and specialist in nervous diseases he is one of the most eminent 
of living physicians. At the trial of Guiteau, the assassin of 
President Garfield, he was an expert witness for the Government. 
He is also an author and editor, and has written much upon his 
special subjects. 

1 64 Ibamilton 

Of the fourth generation, a notable member is Schuyler Hamil- 
ton, Jr., a son of the Major-General. Like nearly all of his ances- 
schuyier, jr., tors, he Is a Columbia man, having been graduated 
Architect j n arts m { ^ 2 , anc j j n sc i ence j n .876. He is an archi- 
tect of marked skill and originality. 

William Pierson, son of William Gaston, is a prominent New 
wiiiiam York banker and a member of the firm of J. P. Morgan 
Pierson ^ q q j_j e marr j e d Juliet P. Morgan, by whom he has 
had issue. 

The keynote of the Hamilton family is intellectuality. They 
do not tend toward trade or commerce, and in whatever calling 
they engage they seem to be inspired by love for the industry and 
not for its emoluments. In war they are brilliant soldiers, but 
their attitude is that of the strategist, not the butcher. In law 
they are jurists rather than practitioners. They have a talent for 
organization and administration, and wherever they have been 
called upon to employ executive ability they have invariably 
succeeded. On the social side they have been marked by 
urbanity and tact. This would seem to be derived from their 
Huguenot forbears, just as their martial and mental virtues come 
from their Scotch ancestry. They are fiercely patriotic, and never 
hesitate to drop all private concerns the moment they feel that their 
services are required by the nation. Probably no other American 
family has been characterized by so large a proportion of soldiers 
to civilians in its own ranks. While their literary talent never 
runs to poetry, in their private lives they manifest a strong 
poetic temperament. It breathes out here and there in their 
literary composition. There is scarcely a volume by a Hamilton 
in which there are not touches of sentiment. This was notably 
the case with the head of the race. Throughout Alexander's 
correspondence are veins of delicacy and grace which make de- 
lightful reading. No finer example of this phase of his mentality 
can be found than one of his love letters to the beautiful woman 
about to become his wife. The original is in the possession of 
member of the family. 

"I would not have you imagine, Miss, that I write to you 

Ibamilton 165 

so often either to gratify your wishes or to please your vanity; 
but merely to indulge myself, and to comply with that restless 
propensity of my mind which will not allow me to be happy 
when I am not doing something in which you are concerned. 
This may seem a very idle disposition in a philosopher and a 
soldier ; but I can plead illustrious examples in my justification. 
Achilles had like to have sacrificed Greece and his glory to his 
passion for a female captive; and Anthony lost the world for a 
woman. I am sorry the times have so changed as to oblige me 
to summon antiquity for my apology, but I confess, to the dis- 
grace of the present age, that I have not been able to find many 
who are as far gone as myself in such laudable zeal for the fair 
sex. I suspect, however, if others knew the charms of my 
sweetheart as well as I do, I should have a great number of 
competitors. I wish I could give you an idea of her — you have 
no conception how sweet a girl she is — it is only in my heart 
that her image is truly drawn. She has a lovely form and a 
mind still more lovely; she is all goodness, the gentlest, the 
dearest, the tenderest of her sex. Ah, Betsey, how 1 love her 
. . . . Well, my love, here is the middle of October ; a 
few weeks more and you are mine; a sweet reflection to me — 
is it so to my charmer? Do you find yourself more or less 
anxious for the moment to arrive as it approaches? This is a 
good criterion to determine the degree of your affection by. 
You have had an age for consideration, time enough for even 
a woman to know her mind in. Do you begin to repent or 
not? Remember you are going to do a very serious thing. 
For though our sex has generously given up a part of its 
prerogatives, and husbands have no longer the power of life 
and death, as the wiser husbands of former days had, yet we 
still retain the power of happiness and misery; and, if you are 
prudent, you will not trust the felicity of your future life to one 
in whom you have not good reason for implicit confidence. I 
give you warning — don't blame me if you make an injudicious 
choice — and if you should be disposed to retract, don't give me 
the trouble of a journey to Albany, and then do as did a certain 

166 "bamiltcn 

I d you. find out the day before we are to 
be married that "you cant like the man*; but of all things, I pray 
you don't make the discovery aftr -fat this would be 

worse than all. But 1 do not apprehend its being the case. 1 
think we knc ¥ ell enough to understand 

s feelings, and to be sure our affection will not only last 
but be pr _ letter — :*. 

*ond acta - _ dulness: the truth 

is. I am too much in love to be e I > onable c ■ " I feel 

in the extreme: and when 1 ar.r :~. I speak of my feelings I 

re that real tenderness has 
:ire of sadnei hen I affect the live; 

ng heart re I is separated from you and it cannot be 

cheerful. ; sort of i: :hing I write savors 

strongly of it: : etum it is the best proof o: iness 

also. I tell you. my Bests - are negligent: you do not 

me often enough. Take more care of my har r there is 

nothing your Hamilton would not do to promote yours."' 





MONG the commanding races of Europe 
the Norseman stood out pre-eminent. 
His superb physical strength, his curi- 
ous nature in which ferocious valor 
was tempered and even balanced 
by his love of the pleasures of life, 
his grim contempt for nature's ugly 
moods, his love of travel and of home, 
all combined to make him a memora- 
ble personality in European annals 
from the fourth to the seventeenth 
century. Scandinavia is but a small 
and sterile country, with a sparse population, and yet for a thou- 
sand years it exerted as wide an influence upon the destinies of 
Christendom as many richer, stronger, and more populous 

In the settlement of the New World it contributed its share 
of pioneers and explorers. One of the first colonies sent out from 
Europe was that of New Christiania on the Delaware, which was 
conquered and added to the Dutch possessions by Governor 
Stuy vesant. The fate of this colony did not deter the men of the 
North from following in the footsteps of their unsuccessful prede- 
cessors. Nor was there any reason, excepting insignificant political 
ones, for their being deterred. They were Protestants, as were 

the Dutch and English; they were lovers of liberty and believers 


1 70 "feoffman 

in the home rule of that period. They were accustomed to rough 
living and to the perils of the sea. Thus from almost the beginning 
of the seventeenth century until the present time, there has been 
a steady movement of Swedes, "Norwegians, Danes, and Finns 
from northern Europe to the shores of America. 

The first family of distinction in this migration was the one 
founded by Martin Hermanzen Hoffman [162s], who was born at 
Martin the Revel in Esthonia, on the Gulf of Finland. He is said 
Founder to j iaye ^ een Remaster in the army of King Gustavus 
Adolphus. Prior to his departure for America, he lived a short 
time in Holland. He came to New Netherlands in 1657, and settled 
first in Esopus (1658), and two years afterwards in New Amster- 
dam. Life was not altogether uneventful to the sturdy Norseman. 
Over the settlements along the Hudson hung the vague fear of an 
Indian outbreak, and every man held himself in readiness to give 
battle to the redskins. In 1658, at Esopus, there was every indica- 
tion of an onslaught by the savages, and both the garrison and 
the farmers were under arms. The former was under command 
of Ensign Smith, who was in favor of a peace policy. In pursuance 
of this plan he gave orders that no one should resort to arms 
until there was an attack by the Indians. The latter, misunder- 
standing the policy, became more threatening, and began depre- 
dations. Martin and the other farmers promptly seized their 
weapons and without the aid of the garrison fell upon the savages 
and drove them away. He incurred the enmity of the officials, 
but won the respect and love of all the people. It was probably 
this popularity at Kingston which induced him to go back there 
from Fort Orange twenty years afterwards. 

He must have brought over considerable wealth with him, as 
in 1 66 1 he resided on Lower Broadway, and was a large taxpayer. 
Life on Manhattan does not seem to have agreed with him, because 
after a tew years he removed to Albany, then known as Fort 
Orange, where he resided for nine or ten years. Again he changed 
his residence and settled in Esopus, or Kingston, where he passed 
the remainder of his life. He was a man of great energy. Besides 
managing his property and opening up new territory in Ulster 

Martin Hoffman 

From a painting 


! I 

The Hoffman Residence near Upper Red Hook, N. Y. 

Erected by Zacharias Hoffman in 1 700 

IbofEman 171 

County, he had a large saddlery and leather business, which he 
conducted for several years. 

He was an able man of affairs, as well as a good husband and 
father. This can be seen in the old records, where there are 
accounts of the baptizing of his children in the presence of their 
parents and relatives, of their education, and of their starting in 
life by the placing of real estate in their names. 

He married, first, Lysbeth Hermans, who died without issue, 
and secondly, Emmerentje Claesen De Witte, by whom he had 
five children. Four of these reached maturity and married, and 
all of them were wealthy and prosperous. His portrait has come 
down from the past, and shows a strong face with a high, intellec- 
tual forehead and a jaw indicative of force and determination. 

In the second generation two stalwart sons kept up the family 
line, Captain Zecharias, or Zacharias, and Captain Nicolaes, or 
Nicholas. They were prosperous farmers and invested _ , 

J r r Captains 

their large earnings with wise judgment in real estate, zecharias and 
The former became one of the largest landed proprietors 
in Ulster county, while the latter purchased territory in both 
Ulster and Dutchess counties. This was the beginning of the 
Hoffman estates on the east side of the Hudson, and marks the 
appearance of the family in the roll of the large landed proprietors 
of the New Netherlands. Beyond their wealth and military pres- 
tige, they had already formed influential connections by marriage. 
By the time of the third generation they were related to many of 
the chief families of that period. Among these were Pruyn, 
Bogardus, Du Bois, Jansen, Wyckoop, and Dekker. Captain 
Zacharias married Cester Pruyn, and Captain Nicholas, Janetje 
Crispell. Both this and the succeeding generation were fortunate 
in their marriages. In every instance the partners were healthy, 
vigorous, and able, as well as comparatively rich in worldly goods. 
The unions were based upon love, which in those days contained 
a large religious element. 

The husbands and wives were active members of the Dutch 
Reformed Church, and found their chief pleasure in works of piety 
and charity. They seemed to have lived with greater simplicity 

"beff man 

than their wealthy Dutch and English neighbors. The family 
accou :h have been preserved, sh small expendi- 

tures for luxuries and for wines and other beverages of the period. 
Probably in consequence of this fact is due the remarkable ph 
vigor which the race displayed from the very start. The prosper- 
ous people of that time who indulged in high living had 

dants. and in their households there was a larger infant 
mortality. The Hoffmans, on the other ha' noted for 

their health and strength, and for the number of descendants who 
reached maturity and became parents in their turn. 

The third generation was marked by three men of striking 
personality. Of these the most prominent was Colonel Martin 
[1706], son of Captain Nicholas. Bom in Kingston, he 
settled near Red Hook in Dutchess Count), upon land 
which had been bought by his father. Here he developed the 
property- into one of the best farms along the Hudson, and estab- 
lished a first-class grist-mill, from which the neighborhood came 
to be known as "Hoffman's Mills."" He was an idea; 
in his energy and ir. : ~ He made money rapidly, and in 
it in farms, houses, orchards, forests, waterfalls, quarries, and 
mines. He developed all the known resources of the neighbor- 
hood, and long before he died he had enriched his neighbors as 
well as himself. His views were broad, and his activities varied 
in public as well as private affairs. He took pleasure in fostering 
the mflitai ra of Dutchess County; so much so that his 

name is largely in evidence for a generation in the State archives 
at Albany. This energy secured to Dutchess County a full com- 
plement of arms and munitions of war. It made the young 
men trained soldiers, so that when the Revolution broke out it 
found Dutchess County a stronghold which was almost impreg- 
nable to the British arms. 

He was a Justice of the Peace, a judge of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas, an Indian Commissioner, and a member of many 
committees, both royal and provincial. He was twice married, 
his first wife being Tryntje Benson, and his second. Alida L 
ston Hansen. Of his ten children, nine grew up and were mar- 

Iboffman 1 73 

ried, and to each was given or bequeathed an estate so large as to 
make the recipient affluent. 

Judge Anthony, [171 1], second son of Capt. Nicholas was a 
worthy brother of Colonel Martin. He was a trustee of Kingston, 
and a civil magistrate for that city for many terms , . , 

° J Judge Anthony 

between 1742 and 1780. In 1775 he was one of the 
signers of the " Ulster County Roll of Honor," also known as the 
"Articles of Association in Favor of the Cause of Liberty." 
He was a member of the Provincial Congress, a Judge of Dutchess 
County, and in 1780 a Regent of the University of the State of 
New York. During the Revolution, he was tireless in his efforts 
on behalf of the colonies, and contributed largely of his means 
to that end. His was a busy life. He built and conducted addi- 
tional mills, established several large stores, and bought sloops, 
with which he maintained a large freight business between Albany 
on the north and New York on the south, touching at all the 
intermediate points on the Hudson. Often when there was a 
demand, he would send his vessels upon longer voyages up Long 
Island Sound, and even down the coast. He was singularly 
shrewd in such matters, and, in addition, was lucky. His sloops 
seldom encountered any accident, and were noted for making 
quick passages. The profits of his many industries were never 
allowed to lie idle, but were promptly invested in other fields, 
more especially in real estate in Ulster County. With his 
brothers, Colonel Martin and Captain Zacharias II., he acquired 
large holdings in Dutchess County. He married Catharina Van 
Gaasbeck, by whom he had ten children. 

Capt. Zacharias II. [17 13] settled at Red Hook when he 
was forty-two years of age. Here he built the handsome stone 
mansion, then the finest in the neighborhood, known Capt 

as " Hoffman's Castle," and which in 1902 was in good zacharias 11. 
preservation. He followed the same line of policy as his brothers, 
and engaged in the same industries. Like Colonel Martin, he was 
a good soldier, and for a long time was the captain of militia in his 
district. In 1775 he was among the signers of the pledge repudi- 
ating the British Government. His estates were so large in his 

1 74 Iboffman 

old age as to give rise to a bon-mot. A traveller asking a Red 
Hook man who owned the property thereabouts was answered: 
" Everything you can see on this side of the river is Hoffman's, 
and also on the other side. He does not own the river yet, but 
he hopes to before he dies." He married twice, his first wife being 
Helena Van Wyck; and his second, Letitia Van Wyck Brinckerhoff, 
by each of whom he had two children. 

At the end of the third generation, the Hoffman family was 
one of the most prominent in the province. This was the result 
of their policy, which was very different from that of the great 
patroons. The latter desired to establish a landed aristocracy, and 
bought their lands in blocks, so as to have large continuous prop- 
erties. This involved the purchase and maintenance of sterile 
districts, marshy lands, and unproductive hill country. Thus, 
though many of the famous estates of the time were very exten- 
sive, they brought in a small return as compared with their cost 
or size. The Hoffmans purchased land with a view to its value 
as an investment. It was scattered upon the map, but it always 
included fine farms, large water-power, available timber, and ex- 
cellent dockage. Most of it paid a very handsome profit from the 
beginning, and nearly all of it increased in value from year to year 
by the growth of the community. 

The fourth generation was marked by many talented and 
influential members. Nicholas [1736], son of Colonel Martin, 
Nicholas was a wealthy merchant and a noted member of 
the Merchant th e N ew York Chamber of Commerce. He was a 
member of the General Committee of the City and County of 
New York, and an active man in ecclesiastical as well as mer- 
cantile and civic affairs. His wife, Sarah Ogden, was singularly 
_ . _ . like him in taste and activities. She was an offi- 

Sarah Ogden 

cer or a member of the charitable organizations of 
that period, and was the organizer and first directress of the 
New York Orphan Asylum. Here for fifteen years she worked, 
it is said, harder than any of the employees. She was one of 
the first ladies of the city to adopt the new practice of calling 
in person upon the sick and the destitute in the poorer wards, 

Iboffman 1 75 

and built up a small society to perform that kind of philanthropic 

Colonel Robert [1737], brother of Nicholas, settled in Pough- 
keepsie. He joined the militia when in his teens, and was a 
major in 1755. He rose to be lieutenant-colonel and coionei 
colonel, and had charge of the raising of troops in 
Dutchess and Westchester counties for the Revolutionary army. 
The colonial documents of New York show him to have been 
possessed of much executive ability, and to have been as good a 
soldier as he was an administrator. When the war was over, 
he returned to his estates, where he passed the remainder of his 
life. He married Sarah Van Alstyne, by whom he had seven 
children, all growing up and marrying. 

Colonel Anthony [1739], son of Colonel Martin, was another 
staunch Revolutionary soldier. He was graduated from Columbia 
in 1760 in the same class with Samuel Bayard, Philip coi. Anthony 
Livingston, and Robert Watts. Upon graduation, he thePatnot 
devoted himself to the management of his property and to 
public affairs. He was a member of the First, Third, and Fourth 
Provincial congresses, Regent of the New York University, Loan 
Officer for Dutchess County, and member of the Assembly. He 
made an admirable record in the Revolution, and was highly 
esteemed by the colonial generals. He married Mary Rutgers. 
He became an anti-slavery man towards the close of his career, 
and after freeing many slaves manumitted all the rest in his will. 

Captain Harmanus, the High Sheriff [1745], son of Colonel 
Martin, earned distinction in military, civil, official, and social 
life. He was one of the Associators for Liberty of Ca tain Har 
Dutchess County in 1775, and before the breaking out manus, m g h 
of the Revolution a captain of the First Rhinebeck 
Company of Minute-Men. He served the seven years of the 
struggle, and in 1786, was made High Sheriff, in which office 
he remained until 1807. He inherited a large fortune, which he 
increased by judicious management, and also by three marriages, 
the first being to Catharine Douw, the second to Cornelia R. 
Vredenburgh, and the third to Catharine Verplanck. By the first 

1 76 1boff man 

he had three children, by the second two, and by the third 

Captain Martin [1747], son of Colonel Martin, was one of the 
Associators of Liberty, like his brother, and was Captain of the 
captain Third Company of Rhinebeck. He served through 
Martm ^ e war ^^ g rea t cre dit, and upon the return of peace 

devoted himself to the management of his estates in Dutchess 
County. He married Margaret Bayard, by whom he had three 

Lieutenant Zachariah [1749], son of Colonel Martin, was a 
lieutenant in the Revolution, where he displayed gallantry and 
Lieutenant discipline. He was wounded, and contracted con- 
zachanah sumption, from which he died in his prime. He 
married Jane Hoffman, his cousin, by whom he had three 

Philip Livingston [1767], son of Colonel Martin, was a brilliant 

lawyer of his time, who was named after his father's college 

friend. He was admitted to the bar in 1790, and set- 

Philip L. 

tied in Johnston, N. Y. He married Helena Kissam, 
by whom he had eight children. 

Three of the sons of Judge Anthony deserve mention in this 
period. These were Nicholas Anthony [1745], Abraham [1747J, 
judge and Judge Anthony A. [1756]. Nicholas Anthony 

Anthony a. was an Associator for Liberty; Abraham was an 
Associator and cornet in the army; Judge Anthony A. was a 
soldier, a member of the bar, and County Judge. Nicholas An- 
thony married Edy Silvester, by whom he had eleven children; 
Abraham, Rachel Du Bois, by whom he had seven children; and 
Judge Anthony A., Elizabeth Snedeker, and, upon her death, Ger- 
trude Verplanck, by the former of whom he had two and by the 
latter four children. 

The period of the four generations may be regarded as the 
first stage in the history of the family. Its career during this time 
was notable in many respects. Health, longevity, commercial 
talent, patriotism, piety, and the performance of public duty were 
its characteristics. These had brought it the success for which 

j jL^MjU&oZ. 

Iboffman 171 

County, he had a large saddlery and leather business, which he 
conducted for several years. 

He was an able man of affairs, as well as a good husband and 
father. This can be seen in the old records, where there are 
accounts of the baptizing of his children in the presence of their 
parents and relatives, of their education, and of their starting in 
life by the placing of real estate in their names. 

He married, first, Lysbeth Hermans, who died without issue, 
and secondly, Emmerentje Claesen De Witte, by whom he had 
five children. Four of these reached maturity and married, and 
all of them were wealthy and prosperous. His portrait has come 
down from the past, and shows a strong face with a high, intellec- 
tual forehead and a jaw indicative of force and determination. 

In the second generation two stalwart sons kept up the family 
line, Captain Zecharias, or Zacharias, and Captain Nicolaes, or 
Nicholas. They were prosperous farmers and invested Ca tains 
their large earnings with wise judgment in real estate, zecharias and 
The former became one of the largest landed proprietors 
in Ulster county, while the latter purchased territory in both 
Ulster and Dutchess counties. This was the beginning of the 
Hoffman estates on the east side of the Hudson, and marks the 
appearance of the family in the roll of the large landed proprietors 
of the New Netherlands. Beyond their wealth and military pres- 
tige, they had already formed influential connections by marriage. 
By the time of the third generation they were related to many of 
the chief families of that period. Among these were Pruyn, 
Bogardus, Du Bois, Jansen, Wyckoop, and Dekker. Captain 
Zacharias married Cester Pruyn, and Captain Nicholas, Janetje 
Crispell. Both this and the succeeding generation were fortunate 
in their marriages. In every instance the partners were healthy, 
vigorous, and able, as well as comparatively rich in worldly goods. 
The unions were based upon love, which in those days contained 
a large religious element. 

The husbands and wives were active members of the Dutch 
Reformed Church, and found their chief pleasure in works of piety 
and charity. They seemed to have lived with greater simplicity 

i;2 "boffman 

than their wealthy Dutch and English neighbors. The family 
accounts, which have been preserved, show very small expendi- 
tures for luxuries and for wines and other beverages of the period. 
Probably in consequence of this fact is due the remarkable physical 
vigor which the race displayed from the very start. The prosper- 
ous people of that time who indulged in high living had fewer 
descendants, and in their households there was a larger infant 
mortality. The Hoffmans, on the other hand, were noted for 
their health and strength, and for the number of descendants who 
reached maturity and became parents in their turn. 

The third generation was marked by three men of striking 

personality. Of these the most prominent was Colonel Martin 

Titoo], son of Captain Nicholas. Born in Kingston, he 

Col. Martin * 

settled near Red Hook in Dutchess County, upon land 
which had been bought by his father. Here he developed the 
property into one of the best farms along the Hudson, and estab- 
lished a first-class grist-mill, from which the neighborhood came 
to be known as "Hoffman's Mills." He was an ideal American 
in his energy and industry. He made money rapidly, and invested 
it in farms, houses, orchards, forests, waterfalls, quarries, and 
mines. He developed all the known resources of the neighbor- 
hood, and long before he died he had enriched his neighbors as 
well as himself. His views were broad, and his activities varied 
in public as well as private affairs. He took pleasure in fostering 
the military system of Dutchess County; so much so that his 
name is largely in evidence for a generation in the State archives 
at Albany. This energy secured to Dutchess Count)- a full com- 
plement of arms and munitions of war. It made the young 
men trained soldiers, so that when the Revolution broke out it 
found Dutchess County a stronghold which was almost impreg- 
nable to the British arms. 

He was a Justice of the Peace, a Judge of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas, an Indian Commissioner, and a member of many 
committees, both royal and provincial. He was twice married, 
his first wife being Tryntje Benson, and his second, Alida Living- 
ston Hansen. Of his ten children, nine grew up and were mar- 

Iboffman 173 

ried, and to each was given or bequeathed an estate so large as to 
make the recipient affluent. 

Judge Anthony, [1711], second son of Capt. Nicholas was a 
worthy brother of Colonel Martin. He was a trustee of Kingston, 
and a civil magistrate for that city for many terms, M . ,_ 

Judge Anthony 

between 1742 and 1780. In 1775 he was one of the 
signers of the " Ulster County Roll of Honor," also known as the 
"Articles of Association in Favor of the Cause of Liberty." 
He was a member of the Provincial Congress, a Judge of Dutchess 
County, and in 1780 a Regent of the University of the State of 
"New York. During the Revolution, he was tireless in his efforts 
on behalf of the colonies, and contributed largely of his means 
to that end. His was a busy life. He built and conducted addi- 
tional mills, established several large stores, and bought sloops, 
with which he maintained a large freight business between Albany 
on the north and New York on the south, touching at all the 
intermediate points on the Hudson. Often when there was a 
demand, he would send his vessels upon longer voyages up Long 
Island Sound, and even down the coast. He was singularly 
shrewd in such matters, and, in addition, was lucky. His sloops 
seldom encountered any accident, and were noted for making 
quick passages. The profits of his many industries were never 
allowed to lie idle, but were promptly invested in other fields, 
more especially in real estate in Ulster County. With his 
brothers, Colonel Martin and Captain Zacharias 11., he acquired 
large holdings in Dutchess County. He married Catharina Van 
Gaasbeck, by whom he had ten children. 

Capt. Zacharias II. [1713] settled at Red Hook when he 
was forty-two years of age. Here he built the handsome stone 
mansion, then the finest in the neighborhood, known Capt 

as " Hoffman's Castle," and which in 1902 was in good zacharias 11. 
preservation. He followed the same line of policy as his brothers, 
and engaged in the same industries. Like Colonel Martin, he was 
a good soldier, and for a long time was the captain of militia in his 
district. In 1775 he was among the signers of the pledge repudi- 
ating the British Government. His estates were so large in his 

1 74 1boff man 

old age as to give rise to a bon-mot. A traveller asking a Red 
Hook man who owned the property thereabouts was answered: 
" Everything you can see on this side of the river is Hoffman's, 
and also on the other side. He does not own the river yet, but 
he hopes to before he dies." He married twice, his first wife being 
Helena Van Wyck; and his second, Letitia Van Wyck Brinckerhoff, 
by each of whom he had two children. 

At the end of the third generation, the Hoffman family was 
one of the most prominent in the province. This was the result 
of their policy, which was very different from that of the great 
patroons. The latter desired to establish a landed aristocracy, and 
bought their lands in blocks, so as to have large continuous prop- 
erties. This involved the purchase and maintenance of sterile 
districts, marshy lands, and unproductive hill country. Thus, 
though many of the famous estates of the time were very exten- 
sive, they brought in a small return as compared with their cost 
or size. The Hoffmans purchased land with a view to its value 
as an investment. It was scattered upon the map, but it always 
included fine farms, large water-power, available timber, and ex- 
cellent dockage. Most of it paid a very handsome profit from the 
beginning, and nearly all of it increased in value from year to year 
by the growth of the community. 

The fourth generation was marked by many talented and 
influential members. Nicholas [1736], son of Colonel Martin, 
Nicholas was a wealthy merchant and a noted member of 
the Merchant tj le N ew York Chamber of Commerce. He was a 
member of the General Committee of the City and County of 
New York, and an active man in ecclesiastical as well as mer- 
cantile and civic affairs. His wife, Sarah Ogden, was singularly 
B ._ . like him in taste and activities. She was an offi- 

Sarah Ogden 

cer or a member of the charitable organizations of 
that period, and was the organizer and first directress of the 
New York Orphan Asylum. Here for fifteen years she worked, 
it is said, harder than any of the employees. She was one of 
the first ladies of the city to adopt the new practice of calling 
in person upon the sick and the destitute in the poorer wards, 

Iboffman 175 

and built up a small society to perform that kind of philanthropic 

Colonel Robert [1737], brother of "Nicholas, settled in Pough- 
keepsie. He joined the militia when in his teens, and was a 
major in 1755. He rose to be lieutenant-colonel and coionei 
colonel, and had charge of the raising of troops in 
Dutchess and Westchester counties for the Revolutionary army. 
The colonial documents of New York show him to have been 
possessed of much executive ability, and to have been as good a 
soldier as he was an administrator. When the war was over, 
he returned to his estates, where he passed the remainder of his 
life. He married Sarah Van Alstyne, by whom he had seven 
children, all growing up and marrying. 

Colonel Anthony [1739], son of Colonel Martin, was another 
staunch Revolutionary soldier. He was graduated from Columbia 
in 1760 in the same class with Samuel Bayard, Philip coi. Anthony 
Livingston, and Robert Watts. Upon graduation, he thePatriot 
devoted himself to the management of his property and to 
public affairs. He was a member of the First, Third, and Fourth 
Provincial congresses, Regent of the New York University, Loan 
Officer for Dutchess County, and member of the Assembly. He 
made an admirable record in the Revolution, and was highly 
esteemed by the colonial generals. He married Mary Rutgers. 
He became an anti-slavery man towards the close of his career, 
and after freeing many slaves manumitted all the rest in his will. 

Captain Harmanus, the High Sheriff [1745], son of Colonel 
Martin, earned distinction in military, civil, official, and social 
life. He was one of the Associators for Liberty of Ca tain Har 
Dutchess County in 1775, and before the breaking out manus.High 
of the Revolution a captain of the First Rhinebeck 
Company of Minute-Men. He served the seven years of the 
struggle, and in 1786, was made High Sheriff, in which office 
he remained until 1807. He inherited a large fortune, which he 
increased by judicious management, and also by three marriages, 
the first being to Catharine Douw, the second to Cornelia R. 
Vredenburgh, and the third to Catharine Verplanck. By the first 

176 Iboffman 

he had three children, by the second two, and by the third 

Captain Martin [1747], son of Colonel Martin, was one of the 
Associators of Liberty, like his brother, and was Captain of the 
captain Third Company of Rhinebeck. He served through 
Martin the war with great credit, and upon the return of peace 

devoted himself to the management of his estates in Dutchess 
County. He married Margaret Bayard, by whom he had three 

Lieutenant Zachariah [1749], son of Colonel Martin, was a 
lieutenant in the Revolution, where he displayed gallantry and 
Lieutenant discipline. He was wounded, and contracted con- 
zachanah sumption, from which he died in his prime. He 
married Jane Hoffman, his cousin, by whom he had three 

Philip Livingston [1767], son of Colonel Martin, was a brilliant 

lawyer of his time, who was named after his father's college 

friend. He was admitted to the bar in 1790, and set- 

Philip l. ' ' 

tied in Johnston, N. Y. He married Helena Kissam, 
by whom he had eight children. 

Three of the sons of Judge Anthony deserve mention in this 
period. These were Nicholas Anthony [1745], Abraham [1747], 
judge and Judge Anthony A. [1756]. Nicholas Anthony 

Anthony a. was an Associator for Liberty; Abraham was an 
Associator and cornet in the army; Judge Anthony A. was a 
soldier, a member of the bar, and County Judge. Nicholas An- 
thony married Edy Silvester, by whom he had eleven children; 
Abraham, Rachel Du Bois, by whom he had seven children; and 
Judge Anthony A., Elizabeth Snedeker, and, upon her death, Ger- 
trude Verplanck, by the former of whom he had two and by the 
latter four children. 

The period of the four generations may be regarded as the 
first stage in the history of the family. Its career during this time 
was notable in many respects. Health, longevity, commercial 
talent, patriotism, piety, and the performance of public duty were 
its characteristics. These had brought it the success for which 

IbofEman 177 

most men yearn. In riches they were the equals of the chief 
patroons and the superiors of the other patroons and the mer- 
chants of New York. In civic affairs they had held scores of offices 
of honor and trust. In martial life they had supplied a large group 
of brave and capable soldiers to the forces of liberty. By marriage 
they had formed alliances with the most distinguished families of 
the province. The colony had become a province, and the prov- 
ince a State. From now on comes the second stage of the race, 
in which they are to make name and fame in law, literature, 
science, the Church, philanthropy, and public work. 

The descendants now entered the fields of higher activity and 
won distinction in the professions, finance, and commerce. The 
first of the fifth generation was Martin [1763], son ot Martin the 
Nicholas, who was a leading merchant in New York for Merchant 
many years. Noted for his public spirit, he took a lively interest 
in the great enterprises of the time. He was an esteemed member 
of the Chamber of Commerce, a leader in the volunteer fire de- 
partment system, sachem of Tammany Hall, captain of the militia, 
and a grand master of freemasonry. So great was his integrity 
that on several occasions during the mercantile panics of his time, 
when he had been driven to the wall by heavy losses, he was 
promptly rescued and enabled to continue business through the 
assistance of his many friends. Not only did he pay back all the 
advances which they made, but after he had regained his former 
position, he went out of his way to assist those, in turn, who had 
once befriended him. He was twice married, his first wife being 
Beulah Murray, by whom he had five children, and his second, 
Mary Frances Seton, by whom he had ten. 

A more brilliant intellect was his brother, Josiah Ogden [1766]. 
He was a student of rare ability, and was admitted to the bar 
shortly after coming of age. Here he won celebrity by judge josiah 
his eloquence and his skill in the examination of wit- 0gden 

nesses. He was a member of many learned bodies and president 
of the Philological Society of New York, which at that time was 
the most erudite organization in the country. In 1791 he was 
made grand sachem of Tammany Hall. In those days Tammany 

178 Iboffman 

was a patriotic society and not a party machine. After serving 
four terms in the Assembly, 1791-1796, he then was made 
Attorney-General of the State. He was next chosen Recorder of 
the city, and seven years afterwards was made Judge of the State 
Supreme Court. He was twice married, first to Mary Colden, 
by whom he had four children, and second to Maria Fenno, by 
whom he had three. He was a society leader and served as a 
representative of the city in nearly all the public functions of forty 

Dr. William [17S1], son of Harmanus, the High Sheriff, was 

a famous physician, who devoted much of his life to practising 

gratuitously among the poor of Westchester County. 

Dr. William " 

There was a number of small settlements around West 
Farms, composed of immigrants, in which, on account of their 
destitution, there was much disease. Here the good physician 
consecrated all the time he could spare. When he was buried, 
he is said to have had the largest funeral ever known in that 

Philip Verplanck [1791], his brother, was a New York 
merchant and philanthropist. Another brother was Samuel 
phili Verplanck [1802]. He was admitted to the bar upon 

verpianck attaining his majority and achieved considerable suc- 

the Churchman ,-., ... ,. , r ,• ,, 

cess. Philip retired from practice, upon the unique 
ground that he did not have the eloquence of his great kinsman, 
Josiah Ogden, and established a dry-goods commission-house, 
which soon had a national reputation. It was so successful that 
he retired after a few years, becoming a special partner. He next 
turned his attention to moneyed corporations, in many of which 
he was a director. 

Deeply interested in church matters he served as vestryman 
of Trinity Church and trustee of the General Theological Seminary. 
He was an energetic charity worker, making a specialty of the deaf 
and dumb, serving as a trustee of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, 
and introducing many reforms in the treatment and education of 
those unfortunates. He married Glorvina Rossell Storm, by whom 
he had four children. 

Iboffman 1 79 

Dr. Richard Kissam [1791] was graduated from the College 
of Physicians and Surgeons in 1820, and entered the Dr Richard 
United States navy as a surgeon in 1824. He served Kissam, u. s. 
with distinction up to his death in i860. 

Dr. Adrian, his brother [1797]- studied at the College of 
Physicians and Surgeons, and practised in New York and Sing Sing. 

Anthony N. [1780], son of Nicholas A., was celebrated for his 
versatility. He was a brilliant student, directing his studies 
towards mechanics and the sciences. Becoming in- Anthony n. 
terested in steam-engineering, he came to New York the Gemus 
from Rhinebeck, and, through his kinsmen, the Livingstons, be- 
came acquainted with Robert Fulton, the inventor. The ac- 
quaintanceship ripened into partnership, and resulted in his 
building and owning steamboats. According to tradition, he once 
said: " Chancellor Livingston has so profound a faith in the future 
of steam navigation that he is bound to put every relative into the 
business. I cannot complain myself, because 1 've done better in 
this calling than 1 would have done in any other." 

After a prosperous career of twenty years he retired from 
business and devoted himself to literary pursuits. He was a 
fluent and pleasant writer, and might have made a high name 
in American literature if he had made it a life profession. He was 
married twice, his first wife being Phcebe Pell, by whom he had 
five children, and his second, Ann Cornelia Stoutenburgh, by 
whom he had eleven. 

Richard Anthony [1785], son of Anthony A., received his ed- 
ucation in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and shortly 
after graduation entered the United States navy. Here Richard A . 
he proved a brave fighter as well as a skilful surgeon. theNavai 
He was killed by a cannon-shot in the War of 18 12. 

Captain Beekman Verplanck [1789], son of Anthony A., en- 
tered the United States navy in 1805, and reached the grade of 
captain in 1829. He was on the frigate Constitution, captain 
" Old Ironsides," and took part in all her glorious bat- ee 7?" id 
ties. He commanded a gun at the victories over the ironsides- 
Guerriere, the Java, the Cyane, and Levant. After the last-named 

i so Iboffman 

combat, he was put in charge of the Cyane, with a detachment 
of sailors, and sailed the battered craft into New York harbor, 
where he received an extraordinary ovation. In the navy he was 
said to bear a charmed life, having been through twenty battles 
without the slightest injury. He married Phcebe W. Townsend, 
by whom he had three children. 

The sixth generation was marked by a larger number of emi- 
nent professional men than all its predecessors. The first of the 
group was David Murray [1791], son of Martin, who in 

Judge Murray ° r ,., , , , . J 

after-life dropped his tirst name. He was graduated 
from Columbia in 1809, and was admitted to the bar two years 
afterwards. Here he rose rapidly, and acquired the reputation of 
being a skilful jurist. He held many positions of confidence and 
trust, and refused many offices, both appointive and elective. In 
1839, however, he accepted the position of Assistant Vice-Chancel- 
lor, and in 1853 was appointed a Judge of the Superior Court. 
He was an authoritative writer on legal topics, and wrote many 
standard volumes between 1820 and 1872. Among these were 
text-books, works on practice, digests of laws, vice-chancery re- 
ports, and digests of special statutes and decisions. He contrib- 
uted able works upon ecclesiastical law, ritual law, and other 
subjects connected with the Protestant Episcopal organization. 
He was twice married, his first wife being Frances Amelia Burrall, 
and his second, Mary Murray Ogden. He had six children by the 
first and three by the second. His two brothers, Lindley Murray 
[1793] and Martin [1795] were merchants who began their career 
as partners with their father, and who continued in business until 
their deaths. 

The Rev. Cadwallader Colden [i8iq], half-brother of Murray, 
began life in the counting-room, but soon found that his natural 
Reverend tendencies were toward the pulpit. He became a 
couiTn'the" Sunday-school teacher and a city missionary, and when 
Martyr twenty-five years of age relinquished commerce to 

begin his studies in the Theological Seminary at Alexandria, 
Virginia. He was graduated with honor, and might have secured 
a pulpit in the metropolis, so sweet was his character, so great 

Matilda Hoffman 

From a miniature 

Anthony N. Hoffman 

From a miniature 

Old House in Kingston, N. Y., Erected by Nicolaes Hoffman 

Iboffman 181 

his learning, and so enthusiastic his devotion to religious truths. 
But to the dismay of his relatives and friends, he declined all 
offers, and volunteered his services as a missionary to the African 
Coast lands. He went to Cape Palmas on the Dark Continent in 
1849, and there passed the remainder of his life, dying in 1865 at 
the negro orphan asylum which he had established at the Cape. 
He made several trips to his native land during his ministry in 
Africa, and everywhere created a revival of the missionary spirit. 

Matilda [1791], daughter of Josiah Ogden, was said to be the 
most beautiful girl of her time. She was engaged to be married 
to Washington Irving, and the engagement had the 

& & ' . , Matilda 

approval of all her kindred. But just as she was pre- 
paring her trousseau she fell sick and died. The lovers were 
deeply attached, and her untimely end exerted a lifelong effect 
upon the great writer. For two years he kept aloof from all 
society, and during the remainder of his days it cast a gloom upon 
his mind from which he never entirely recovered. After his death, 
a lock to which he alone had the key was found to guard a braid 
of hair and a miniature of his dead fiancee. In another secret 
place he had preserved her Bible and prayer-book. 

In Ogden [1794], son of Josiah Ogden, the family produced 
one of its greatest characters. He was graduated from Columbia 
in 1 8 1 2 , but instead of entering professional life, he ogdenthe 
joined the United States navy. He served in Tripoli 0rator 

and in the War of 181 2 under Decatur. The following year he re- 
signed his commission, and took up the study of law with his 
father. The resignation was a source of great sorrow to his fellow- 
officers. He had won the hearts of his colleagues and superiors, 
and their opinion was well expressed by Decatur, who said : " I 
regret that young Hoffman should have exchanged an honorable 
profession for that of a lawyer." He rose rapidly in his new call- 
ing and a few years after admission to the bar was made District 
Attorney of Orange County. In 1828 he was sent to the As- 
sembly, where he fathered several reforms in legal procedure. In 
1829 he was made District Attorney of New York County; in 1836 
and 1838, a member of Congress; in 1839, United States District 

i82 "beffman 

Attorney of New York, and in 1853 Attorney-General of the State. 
He was a tine jurist, an eloquent advocate, and a practitioner of 
unsurpassed skill. He married twice: first. Emily Burrall, and 
second. Virginia E. Southard. 

Charles Fenno [iSoo]. brother of Ogden. is a name which will 
long be remembered in the history of American literature. He 
Charles studied at Columbia, left before graduation, read law. 
Fenno, Poet an j ^ e g an contributing to the press. Upon being ad- 
mitted to the bar. he practised three years, and then relinquished 
law and adopted journalism and literature, becoming an editor of 
the New York American, founder of the Knickerbocker Magazine, 
proprietor of the American Monthly Magazine and the New York 
Mirror. For fifty years he was a steady contributor to the pub- 
lishing world. He is best known by his poems., especially his 
lines upon the battle of Monterey and his lyric of " Sparkling and 
Bright."' He was prominent in the group of brilliant men which 
included Irving. Arnold. Halleck, Bryant, and Saxe. 

Eugene Augustus [1829I son of Samuel Yerplanck, was grad- 
uated from Rutgers in 1S47. and then entered Harvard, where he 
Eugene a., the received the B.A. degree in 1S4S and M.A. in [851. 
Great Dean | n t h e surnmer f [$4$, he was one of the Agassiz 
Scientific Commission which explored the wilderness lying north 
of Lake Superior. On his return he entered the General The- 
ological Seminary of New York. He was graduated and ordained 
in 1851, and labored diligently in various churches. From iStxjto 
:ie was Rector of Grace Church, Brooklyn Heights, and. from 
:" St. Mark's Church. Philadelphia. Besides attend- 
ing to his duties in these large churches, he was an active trustee of 
all the diocesan institutions. In 1S70. he was elected Dean of the 
General Theological Seminary oi the Protestant Episcopal Church. 
When he accepted the office, the institution seemed on the point 
of bankruptcy. Its debt was steadily increasing, its buildings 
inconvenient and dilapidated, and its curriculum a relic of 
a former period. Through his energy, as well as his munificence, 
he managed to pay off all the old debts and to secure more than 
a million and a half of dollars for the endowment and other funds. 

C £ 
DC -g 

I- 1 


> ,5 
Hi °- 

Iboffman 183 

and to erect a series of fine buildings on Chelsea Square. Few 
have belonged to more religious and learned societies in the United 
States or have been honored by degrees and titles from so many 
institutions. He married Mary Crooke Elmendorf, by whom he 
had nine children. 

The Rev. Charles Frederick [1830], a brother of the Dean, was 
graduated from Trinity, Hartford, in 185 1. He studied at the 
General Theological Seminary, and was graduated and ReV erend 
ordained in 1854. m •874, he accepted a call from the chariesF., 
Church of All Angels, New York City, where he re- iant ropist 
mained until his death in 1897. His devotion to his calling was 
notable. The present noble structure, which cost over $150,000, 
was paid for by the clergyman, who, in 1894, erected a large 
parish-house at his own expense. Just before his death, he pur- 
chased and presented to the congregation the necessary ground 
for the large extension, which doubled the capacity of the church. 
It was completed and services held for the first time by the gener- 
ous pastor less than two weeks before his death. The vast fortune 
inherited from his parents he devoted to the cause of humanity. 
To the University of the South he gave $40,000 ; to St. Stephen's 
College, $100,000 in cash, a fireproof library-building, and a dor- 
mitory ; and to the Porter Institute of Charleston and to Hobart 
College, large sums of money. He erected Hoffman Hall, for the 
education of the negroes, at Nashville, Tenn., and Hoffman Hall, 
for the Negro Orphan Asylum, at Lynchburg, Va. He endowed 
chairs in colleges, an alcove in St. John's Inn, beds in St. Luke's 
and other hospitals, a library lectureship, and, with his mother and 
brother, the deanship in the General Theological Seminary. He 
wrote many valuable works on devotional topics, especially on 
the relations of religious and secular education. He married 
Eleanor Louisa Vail, by whom he had six children. 

John Thompson [1828], son of Dr. Adrian Kissam, better 
known as Governor Hoffman of New York, was the statesman of 
the family. He was graduated from Union College johnThomp- 
in 1846, and in 1848, before reaching his majority, he son > Govern ° r 
had become a member of the Democratic State Committee. The 

1 84 "beffman 

following year he was admitted to the bar. where he built up a 
lucrative practice. In 1S00, he was elected Recorder of the City 
of New York. During this term he tried and sentenced the draft 
rioters of I v 

He was re-elected Recorder ; then .Mayor, and re-elected 
Mayor: elected and re-elected Governor. He. Tilden, and Cleve- 
land constitute the three great Democratic Governors of the 
Empire State. 

The head of the seventh generation was W'ickham [1S21]. son 
of Judge Murray. He was graduated from Harvard in 1S41. and 
two years later became a member of the bar. At the outbreak 
of the Civil War he volunteered, and was made an aide-de-camp 
to Governor Morgan. The following year he was an assistant 
adjutant-general, and served with great gallantry and distinction 
through the war. In [866, Colonel Hoffman was appointed assist- 
ant secretary of legation at Versailles, and the following year first 
secretary of the legation. He served nine years, during which 
time occurred the outbreak of the Commune, when the Colonel 
remained at his post to protect American citizens. In 1875, ne W3S 
transferred to the legation at St. James, and in 1877 to St. Peters- 
burg, where he acted as secretary or charge d'affaires until [882. 
He was then made Minister to Denmark, where he remained until 
when he retired to private life. He married Elizabeth Bay- 
lies, by whom he had one son. Colonel Hoffman died on May 2 1 , 

Other distinguished members of this generation have been 
Lindley Murray [1832], financier: Arthur Gilman [1838], merchant: 
Odgen [1S22]. who became a famous judge in California: Samuel 
Southard [1839], lieutenant-colonel in the Civil War: John White 
[1847], merchant and iron and steel promoter: Edward Fenno 

I J, lawyer and jurist: losiah Ogden II. [1858], iron and steel 
master: Eugene Augustus II. [1863], railroad official: and Samuel 
Yerplanck II. [1S66], scientist and astronomer. 

Three other generations are alive, in whose ranks are many 
that promise to keep up the record of their ancestors. The vitality 
of the race is astonishing. In its genealogy, which is not yet com- 

Dean Eugene A. Hoffman 

From a photograph by Moreno & Lopez 

Iboffman 185 

plete, are recorded no less than 1700 members. It is probable 
that there have been more than 2000 since sturdy Martin, the 
founder, came across to New Netherlands. The family is notable 
for its altruistic characteristics. Their benefactions make a line 
of golden deeds for two hundred years. The principle of the race 
seems to be to live for others. In the beginning it was the father 
consecrating himself to his wife and children. Later, it was the 
citizen giving himself to the State, and in the present century it 
has been the man and the woman dedicating their lives and 
property to the welfare of their fellow-men. 





[HE savage and sanguinary persecution 
of the Huguenots impoverished France 
and enriched the Low Countries, 
England, and the New World by 
transferring from the former to the 
latter tens of thousands of the ablest 
and most industrious subjects of the 
French King. From the time of the 
Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in 
1685, to 1720, there was a strong 
migration of Huguenots to lands where 
religious liberty prevailed. It is a mis- 
take to suppose that the emigrants carried with them much 
wealth. Nearly all religious proscriptions have a commercial 
side, and the antagonism to the followers of the new faith was 
strengthened and intensified by the practice of confiscating their 
wealth. Nominally, this was divided between the Crown and the 
Church, but in those days the rabble generally obtained a goodly 
portion, if not the lion's share, of the booty. The greater number 
of the exiles saved little or nothing outside of family jewels and 
similar portable property. There were a few, however, more for- 
tunate, or more far-sighted, who managed to carry with them 
enough to maintain themselves in comfort, if not in good style, 
in their new homes. 

Foremost among these was Pierre Jay — or Ecuyer, Esquire, 


i9o 3a^ 

Peter Jay of the House of Le Jay— who was a wealthy merchant 
of La Rochelle. He had sources of information denied to ordinary 
Pierre citizens. As a merchant, he was in close connection 

the Emigre- w j tn tne tuning of Paris and of Rome; as a member 
of a noble family, he was able to keep in touch with the current 
events of the royal household. He may have known of the 
coming Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, or it may be that he 
had merely a vivid presentiment of the fact. At any rate, before 
that famous mandate was issued he had sent his eldest son to 
England and had transferred some property to that country, and 
also to Holland. The eldest son dying upon the voyage, he sent 
his second son, and thereafter he dispatched the remainder of his 
family and transferred another instalment of his wealth. When 
these facts became known to the authorities, they promptly ar- 
rested him and threw him into jail. He was released through the 
intercession of powerful friends, and then determined to follow 
his children across the Channel. He took his precautions with 
great skill, and waited until one of his ships, richly laden, was 
sighted in the offing. He then went on board, ostensibly to arrange 
for the ship's papers, but the moment he reached the deck he had 
the vessel put about and sailed for the shores of Great Britain. 
According to tradition, he was pursued by galleys employed by 
the local authorities, but frightened these from the chase by dis- 
charging the few cannon with which his craft was equipped. At all 
events, he escaped. All of his remaining property in La Rochelle 
was confiscated and his house was sacked by the mob. He reached 
England, where he settled down and became a successful mer- 
chant and prominent citizen. Here his daughter Frances married 
the Mayor of Bristol, the Hon. Mr. Poloquin. Of three sons, one, 
Augustus, played an important part in the drama of life. Francis 
died on shipboard, and Isaac died in the service of England at the 
battle of the Boyne. 

Augustus, the founder of the house in America, was a char- 
Augustus acter in whom romance and love of adventure seem 
the Founder tQ ^ Rye ^ een j j nec j t0 g reat intellectual and mercantile 

ability. He had received an excellent education in England, but 


o ° 


3a£ ! 9i 

disliked the professions on the one side, and the confinement of 
the counting-house on the other. While still a youth, he had 
gone into his father's service as either a supercargo or a com- 
mercial agent. He was familiar with the Atlantic Coast and the 
Mediterranean, and had a fair knowledge of the African ports and 
their distinctive industries. He had many narrow escapes during 
those troublous times, and finally secured a passage to South Caro- 
lina. He made a short stay in Charleston, and went thence to 
Philadelphia, and finally to New York (1697), being then thirty- 
two years old. Good-looking, bright, and genial, he won many 
friends, and, what was more important, in the same year he 
married Anna Maria Bayard, the daughter of Baltazar Bayard, one 
of the leading citizens in the colonial society of that period. The 
following year he was naturalized by royal letters-patent, and, 
in 1700, he was granted the freedom of the city by the Mayor 
and Aldermen. His career in the New World was long, happy, 
and prosperous. His business grew large and lucrative; his social 
relations, owing chiefly to his admirable wife, were congenial, 
and his children, one son (Peter) and four daughters, proved 
worthy bearers of the family name. Three of the daughters made 
excellent marriages, Judith espousing Cornelius Van Horn; Mary, 
Peter Vallette; and Frances, Frederick Van Cortlandt. 

Peter [1704] was a merchant, like his father and grandfather. 
He was so successful that at the age of forty he was able to retire 
with a fortune which in those days was considered 


magnificent. He married Mary Van Cortlandt, daugh- 
ter of Jacobus Van Cortlandt of Lower Yonckers. His wife was 
an heiress as well as a belle, being the granddaughter of the Hon. 
Frederick Philipse, Lord of the Manor of Philipseburgh. It was 
through this descent that the Jay family subsequently became 
possessed of the Bedford estates. The union was fruitful, being 
blessed by no less than ten children. Of these, seven reached 
majority — Augustus [1730], James [1732], Peter II. [1734], John the 
Chief Justice [1745], Frederick [1747], Eva, who married the Rev. 
Harry Munro, and Anna Maria, who lived a spinster. All of these 
had the advantages which come from wealth, social position, and 

i 92 3a? 

education. Two attained distinction, and one rose to a com- 
manding place in the annals of the Republic. 

Augustus, the oldest, was a bachelor, and devoted his life to 

mercantile pursuits and to the management of his estate. James 

studied medicine, and became a prominent physician 

Dr. James . . 

in the colony. He took an active part in the establish- 
ment of King's (afterwards Columbia) College, and, while in Eng- 
land in 1762, raised a handsome sum for its foundation. He must 
have made a very favorable impression at the royal Court, as the 
following year he was knighted. From that time on he was 
known as Sir James Jay, Knight. Peter II. [1734] was a wealthy 
landlord. He married Mary Duyckinck. Frederick [1747], who 
was a prominent citizen, married twice. His first wife was 
Margaret Barclay, and his second, Euphemia Dunscomb. He 
was a stanch patriot, who served upon the Committee of One 
Hundred and held many offices of honor and trust. 

The great man of the generation was John the Chief Justice, 
who was born in New York City in 174=-. In his boyhood he 
john the displayed the vigor, physical and mental, which was 
cwef justice { mar k him in after life. He took naturally to books, 
and received an excellent education from the Rev. Dr. Stoupe of 
the French Church at New Rochelle, and thereafter at King's 
College. Upon his graduation (1764) he is said to have been an 
accomplished speaker and writer in English, French, and Latin, 
and to have had a fair knowledge of Dutch besides. Becoming 
interested in the struggle for liberty, he joined many organizations, 
and when the Committee of Fifty-one was appointed to cor- 
respond with the other colonies, he was made a member. Upon 
its assembling, he was selected as secretary, and is said to have 
drawn up the famous reply to the Boston Committee, in which was 
recommended the future House of Representatives in "a Con- 
gress of Deputies from the Colonies in General." When the 
proposition was agreed to, he was chosen a delegate to the 
body which met in Philadelphia. Here his talents made him 
conspicuous, and he was appointed one of the committee which 
prepared the "Address to the People of Great Britain." This 

3ap 193 

famous communication is one of the landmarks in American politi- 
cal literature. Jefferson declared it to be a " production certainly 
of the finest pen in America," and other critics have given it a 
place with the Declaration of Independence, and the articles of 
The Federalist. Upon his return to New York he became an 
organizer, and worked strenuously toward the formation of a 
provisional Congress composed of members from the various 
counties, and of a Committee of One Hundred, invested by the city 
of New York with general representative power. He was sent to 
the Second Congress, which met in Philadelphia in 1775, and 
while there drafted the "Address to the People of Canada and of 

In this Congress he showed himself to be a brilliant parlia- 
mentarian. He led the party which favored sending a petition to 
King George, so couched that its rejection by the Crown left no 
alternative to the colonies but abject submission or armed resist- 
ance. There was bitter opposition to the project. Some were 
afraid of being charged with treason, others thought the time had 
not yet arrived for so determined a step, and a third contingent 
advocated more pacific measures. At the beginning of the dis- 
cussion it looked as if the petition would be voted down, but Jay, 
upon the floor and in the lobby, so worked upon the weak that 
they came to his support, and the petition was finally carried by 
a good majority. Signed on the eighth day of July, it was duly 
dispatched to London. It was rejected, as had been foreseen by 
the bright young New Yorker, and aroused a strong feeling in the 
minds of many who up to that time had held themselves aloof. 
It paved the way for the Declaration of Independence, which was 
to come the following year, and excited enthusiasm in all of the 
colonies. In the autumn, Jay was appointed a member of the 
secret committee created by Congress. His work was interrupted 
by a call from New York, where his friends desired him to act as 
a leader at the convention which was to be held at White Plains. 
He obtained leave of absence and went to his home, where he 
made arrangements for the conduct of the coming assemblage. 
It met at White Plains July 9, 1776, and the practical leader was 

i94 3a? 

the member from New York. He brought forward the Declara- 
tion of Independence, which had been received that morning from 
Philadelphia. It was read, and after a stirring and eloquent speech 
by Jay, it was unanimously approved. The body appointed a 
secret committee with extraordinary powers, and made Jay its 
chairman. They also placed him as the head of a committee for 
defeating conspiracies in New York State against the liberties of 
the American colonies. The records of this convention tell a clear 
story of his ability and industry. The resolutions relating to the 
various committees, as well as most of the minutes, are in his 
handwriting. He performed his duties with alacrity, and made 
the organization a strong power on behalf of the Revolutionists. 

In the dark days when Washington's army was compelled to 
retreat, Jay did everything in his power to encourage his country- 
men. He called upon the despondent, wrote to the despairing, 
circulated campaign literature, and induced others to take up the 
same kind of work. He wrote an appeal to his fellow-citizens 
which was so excellent that Congress adopted it as an official 
document, translated it into German, and circulated it in every 
direction. He also drew up the New York State constitution which 
was adopted by the convention. This body asked him to be the 
Chief Justice of the State, and although the position had but little 
power and less emolument, he promptly accepted it in order to 
keep the wheels of the new government moving. He held his 
first term of court at Kingston in 1777. It is hard to see how the 
man performed all the work he did. Besides attending to his 
duties as Chief Justice, he kept up his relations with the State 
Convention and Congress, he was a member of the Council of 
Safety, and was a counsellor to the military chiefs of the district. 
In 1778, he displayed a knowledge of diplomacy worthy of a vet- 
eran statesman. There was a proposition to invade Canada by a 
joint force of French and Americans. Many of the generals were 
in favor of it, as were most of the civil leaders of the time. After 
the discussion had been prolonged, a general desire was expressed 
to have Jay's opinion. General Washington called upon him in 
person and submitted the various views. Jay, without hesitation, 

3w 195 

opposed the scheme. He said that if the project were successful, 
France would keep Canada and would be the ruling power of the 
continent, encircling and hemming in the colonies. Its acquisition 
would make French claims to the western lands unassailable, and 
would put the colonies at her mercy. The Americans needed all 
their strength to free themselves from British rule, and they could 
not afford to weaken their armies in order to gratify France's am- 
bition. In fact, without knowing it, Jay perceived with singular 
accuracy the plans which the French Ministry had formed, and 
which, through their confidential agent, they were then trying to 
carry out in the New World. Had these plans gone through at 
the time, Canada would have been a portion of France, and the 
United States would now be a territory of France instead of an 
English-speaking republic. 

In 1 778, Jay was again sent to Congress, and three days after 
taking his seat was elected its president. Early in September, he 
wrote a letter in the name of Congress upon " Currency, Finance, 
and the Relations of the State to the Money World," which would 
be good reading for some of the monetary reformers of to-day. 
The same month he was appointed Minister to Spain, and later a 
Peace Commissioner. Fortunately for the success of his mission, 
he took with him his beautiful wife. 

This lady, Sarah Van Brugh Livingston Jay, daughter of the 
great war-Governor of New Jersey, William Livingston, possessed 
the beauty, brilliancy, and bravery of her race. She was a belle 
in her own country and became an idol in the courts of Europe. 
She bore a striking resemblance to Marie Antoinette, the Queen 
of France, but was undoubtedly of a higher type of beauty. 
Dowered with extraordinary tact, she made friends wherever she 
went, and enabled her husband to achieve far more in his difficult 
mission than he would have done had he been alone. The voy- 
age to Europe was very slow. The frigate in which they sailed 
from Philadelphia was disabled just off the coast by a storm, which 
did not cease until they were well down in the latitude of the An- 
tilles. They were compelled to seek the nearest port, where it 
was found impossible to repair the ship properly. They waited 

1 96 3av> 

several months, and finally took passage in a French frigate, the 
Aurora, which brought them to Cadiz in January, 1780. They 
remained in Spain two years, and then, at the request of Benjamin 
Franklin who was alone in Paris, proceeded to the latter city. 

It was a lucky star which gave America Franklin, Adams, and 
Jay for its representatives abroad. Weaker or less able men would 
have made a lamentable failure. The politics of Europe were cor- 
rupt and desperate in those days, and the American colonies were 
too insignificant to be regarded as anything but a pawn on the 
chess-board of international diplomacy. The struggle between 
France and Great Britain was mortal, and each had gone to 
lengths which seem almost incredible to-day. The two Govern- 
ments had spies and secret agents in the United States, Canada, 
and in each other's possessions. They had spies watching the 
other spies, and had bought up the spies of their rivals. So skil- 
fully had the French Government played its game that Luzerne, 
its Minister at Philadelphia, had induced Congress to instruct the 
three Commissioners "to make the most candid and confidential 
communications upon all subjects to the Ministers of our generous 
ally, the King of France, to undertake nothing in their negotiations 
for peace and truce without their knowledge and concurrence, and 
ultimately to govern yourselves by their advice and opinion." 

The policy of France was to limit as far as possible the terri- 
tory of the colonies and to increase her own as far as the same 
could be done. Spain, bitterly hostile to England, was inclined to 
act with France, and both countries relied upon the wrath and 
vengefulness of Great Britain to aid them in their schemes. The 
instructions from Congress tended to make the Peace Commis- 
sioners figureheads of the French diplomats. Franklin does not 
seem to have realized fully the position in which his Commission 
had been placed. Jay did, however, and fairly exhausted his in- 
genuity to defeat the French diplomats without appearing to do so. 
The treaty embodying Jay's views was finally signed, and the 
work of the Commission was over. When the official copies 
reached America, there was great rejoicing among the people. 
Many of the politicians of the time, however, far from expressing 

Mrs. John Jay 
(Sarah Van Brugh Livingston) 

From a medallion by Daniel Huntington 

3a£ 197 

satisfaction, denounced the Commissioners, especially Jay, for 
having violated the instructions of Congress in not allowing the 
French Ministry to conclude the treaty. Among these, James 
Madison was the most vehement. Subsequent events have 
shown the superb wisdom of the great New Yorker; the archives 
of the eighteenth century have been made public, and it is now 
known that Vcrgennes intended to shut out the colonies from the 
Mississippi and the Gulf, and would have given to France nearly 
all of what is now Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, 
Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and a part of Minne- 
sota. That part of the Republic is a perpetual monument to John 

On Jay's return, Congress appointed him Secretary of Foreign 
Affairs. He aided Hamilton and Madison in editing The Federalist, 
and in 1789 was made Chief Justice of the United States Supreme 
Court. In 1794, he was appointed special envoy to Great Britain, 
where he negotiated the treaty known by his name. Upon his 
return, he was elected Governor of New York, which position he 
held from 1795 to 1801, when he retired to private life. He died 
in 1829. 

Of the six children of the Chief Justice, two sons and a daughter 
attained high social distinction. The daughter, Maria [1782], 
married Goldsborough Banyer, and during her life she Peter 

was one of the social leaders of the metropolis. The Augustus 
older son, Peter Augustus, was graduated from Columbia College 
in 1794, and became private secretary to his father when the latter 
was made Minister to the Court of St. James. On his return he 
studied law, was admitted to the bar, and won high rank as a 
jurist. He was very progressive, being a stanch advocate of the 
Erie Canal system, and equally stanch in his opposition to slavery. 
He served as Assemblyman, Recorder of the City of New York, 
member of the New York Constitutional Convention, trustee of 
Columbia College, chairman of its board of trustees, President 
of the New York Historical Society, and was a leading spirit in 
many charitable and philanthropic organizations. He married 
Mary Rutherford Clarkson, by whom he had eight children. 

i 9 8 3ap 

The younger son, William [1789], studied under the Rev. 
Thomas Ellison at Albany. Among his classmates was James 
wiiiiam Fenimore Cooper, the novelist. Their acquaintance 
the Reformer ripened into a life-long friendship. He was graduated 
at Yale in 1808, took up law, but was obliged to leave it because 
of illness. In 1 812, he espoused Augusta McVickar, and in 181 5 he 
wrote his famous Memoir on the Subject of a General Bible Society 
for the United States, which was a prominent factor in the develop- 
ment of the great American Bible Society, which in the past 
century published and distributed several millions of copies of the 
Gospel. In 1818, he was made a judge of Westchester County, 
and he was subsequently reappointed. In 1843, he was removed 
from office by Governor William C. Bouck at the demand of the 
pro-slavery politicians of the State, and especially of New York 
City, who were bitterly opposed to Jay on account of the latter's 
avowed advocacy of abolition. Much of his leisure time the 
Judge devoted to literary work. Among his writings were essays 
upon the Sabbath as a civil and divine institution, temperance and 
intemperance, Sunday-schools and their development, duelling, 
the slavery question, emancipation, political righteousness, the 
duty of government, the African slave trade, and other topics of 
moral, religious, or political importance. The man was essentially 
a moral reformer so great that his views were at least thirty years 
ahead of his time. In his papers many of the sentiments are those 
which are heard to-day, and few of them belong to the period in 
which they were written. One, however, touched a responsive 
chord in the public heart. This was a monograph against duelling, 
so forcibly written as to excite general comment. It was published 
anonymously, and before the authorship was disclosed it was held 
up as a model by the Anti-duelling Association of Savannah, 
which awarded the unknown author a gold medal. Of remarkable 
prescience was his volume entitled War and Peace ; the Evils of 
the First, with a Plan for Securing the Last. In this he made a 
strong argument for international arbitration, and took almost the 
same ground as marked the debates of the delegates at the recent 
Peace Congress at The Hague. He had six children, of whom one 

3a? 199 

was a son and five were daughters. All of them reached maturity, 
married, and left issue. 

The oldest son of Peter Augustus, Dr. John Clarkson 
[1808], was graduated from Columbia in 1827, and from 
the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1831. Dr.john 
He was an eminent practitioner, and at the same ciarkson 
time a scientist. He made a specialty of conchology, and 
accumulated a collection of shells which at the time was 
the best in the New World. This collection is now in the 
American Museum of Natural History, where it is still kept intact 
as the Jay Collection. He was one of the founders of the Lyceum 
of Natural History and of the New York Yacht Club. He married 
Laura Prime, by whom he had six children, two sons and four 
daughters. Peter Augustus 11. [182 1] married Jose- Peter 

phine Pearson, by whom he had one son. Of the Augustus 11. 
daughters of Peter Augustus, Mary Rutherford married Frederick 
Prime, from whom are descended the Garrettson, Russell, and Gib- 
bons families. Sarah married William Dawson, from whom are 
descended the Franklands. Catherine Helena married Dr. Henry 
A. Dubois, from whom are descended the Dubois families. Anna 
Maria married Henry E. Pierrepont, from whom come the Stuyve- 
sant, Pierrepont, Luker, and Moffatt families. Susan Matilda 
married Matthew Clarkson. Of the daughters of Judge William, 
Anna married the Rev. Louis P. W. Balch, Maria Banyer married 
John F. Butterworth, and Sarah Louisa married Dr. Alexander M. 
Bruen, from whom are descended the Bruens and Ides. Eliza 
married Henry Edward Pellew. 

John [1817], the only son of Judge William, was graduated 
from Columbia College in 1836, and admitted to the bar in 1839. 
He had the intense vitality of his race, and was a promi- John the 
nent figure in New York life for sixty years. He was writer 

the bitter foe of slavery, a tireless philanthropist, and a leader of 
the civil-service movement. He served as United States Minister 
to Austria. A fluent writer, he contributed hundreds of timely 
articles to the American press. He married Eleanor Kingsland 
Field, by whom he had five children, one son and four daughters. 

200 3a\> 

In the sixth generation, the John Clarkson branch was repre- 
sented by Peter Augustus III., who was graduated from Colum- 
bia in 1803, and who married Julie Post, daughter of Dr. Alfred 
Post. Dr. John Clarkson II. is one of New York's leading physi- 
cians. He was graduated from the College of Physicians and 
Surgeons in 1865, and served during the Civil War in the United 
States Army hospitals at Washington and New Orleans. After the 
war, he went abroad and took a post-graduate course in Vienna and 
Prague. He was one of the founders of the New York Free Dis- 
pensary for Sick Children, and was appointed in 1892 a State 
Examiner of Lunacy. He married Harriette Arnold Vinton, daugh- 
ter of Major-General Vinton, U. S. A. Laura married Charles P. 
Wurts. Mary Jay married Jonathan Edwards. Augustus, the son 
of Peter Augustus II., was graduated from the Columbia Law 
School in 1876. He married Emily Astor Kane, the daughter of 
Delancey Kane. Of the children of John Jay, Minister to Austria, 
Eleanor married Henry G. Chapman, from whom are descended 
the Chapmans, Mortimers, and Barclays; Augusta married Edmund 
Randolph Robinson; Mary married William Henry Schieffelin, and 
Anna married Lieutenant-General von Schweintz. 

William, who is best known as Colonel William [1841], son 
of the Minister to Austria, volunteered at the breaking out of the 
coionei Rebellion, and served throughout the great conflict, 

William making an enviable record for gallantry and fidelity. 
But to him war was a matter of duty and not of pleasure or profit. 
With the coming of peace, he resigned, entered the bar, and rose 
rapidly to a high rank in the profession. He was graduated from 
Columbia in 1859, and the Columbia Law School in 1867. He 
married Lucy Oelrichs, by whom he has one surviving daughter. 
To Colonel Jay New York owes largely the development of the 
old-time sport of coaching, he having been the president of the 
Coaching Club from 1876 to 1896. He is a member of the vestry 
of Trinity Church; and it is worthy of note that a Jay has been 
either a churchwarden or vestryman of that church since its 
foundation in 1697. 

The career of the family in the New World is that of a strong, 

Mrs. John Jay and her Children 

From the painting by R. E. Pine 

3a\> 20 1 

intelligent race, inspired by a compelling moral sense. This has 
marked every generation. Each individual family is characterized 
by health and fertility. Its sons are vigorous, its daughters sound 
and beautiful. In the mercantile world the men succeed, and in 
the social world the women always hold high places. Upon all 
moral questions the Jays are to be found on the side of conscience 
and of right. When it comes to a choice between two courses 
of action, they never permit the desire of gain or preferment to 
influence them in their determination. They fought strenuously 
for liberty of conscience, even when death and ruin were held up 
as the punishment for their temerity. They fought against tyranny 
and oppression in the New World, with the full knowledge that 
confiscation and death would be the penalty in case of failure. 
They were untiring in their opposition to slavery, although it cost 
them many political honors and offices. They were abolitionists, 
when abolitionism was a social disgrace. They were Republicans, 
when to be a Republican in New York meant danger, assault, and 
abuse. They were civil-service reformers even when threatened 
by the leaders of both of the party machines. 

Two hundred years have not sufficed to change the fierce 
Huguenot strain in the Jay blood. Beneath the diplomat, the 
jurist, the physician, and even the society belle, there is a soldier 
or a hero. They have enriched the families into which they have 
married by adding these characteristic qualities. No matter under 
what name the descendants are known, the unswerving moral 
nature of the race is bound to crop out. Moral impulses are as 
large a factor in the evolution of society and civilization as mate- 
rial greatness or intellectual splendor. The majesty of the Empire 
State owes just as much to the moral heroism of the Jays as to 
the commercial genius of the Astors, the statesmanship of the 
Schuylers, or the organizing eminence of the Van Rensselaers. 



N comparing the careers of famous fam- 
ilies, an observer cannot fail to be 
impressed by the marked difference 
in the fields of activity occupied by 
each as a whole. One family seems 
more or less identified with a great 
estate or a specific calling ; another 
with a city or a series of callings ; a 
third with a State ; and a fourth with 
several States or with the nation 
itself. Adams, for instance, is associ- 
ated with Massachusetts, Lee with 
Virginia, and Clinton with Mew York. In all these cases there seems 
to have been what may be termed a strong love of home or an 
absence of the nomadic or adventurous spirit. In striking con- 
trast are those families where these qualities have appeared in 
inverse ratio. Their male members have gone afar and have at- 
tained distinction in other cities, States, and even lands. Nowhere 
is this more noticeable than with the King family, which is of Mass- 
achusetts origin, but which has become famous in at least six States 
— Massachusetts, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Wis- 
consin. Remarkably strong and prolific, it has produced so many 
influential citizens that it would be inadvisable to pay attention 
to any outside of those of New York. 

The family was founded in this country by John King of Kent, 

2o6 Iking 

England, who came to the New World about 1702, and settled 
in Boston, Mass. He married Mary Stowell, by whom he had 
john the several children. Of these, Richard, the eldest, 
was born in Boston in 1718, and from his early 
youth displayed singular vitality, ability, and versatility. He 
was a merchant, trader, speculator, soldier, farmer, and writer, 
in all of which callings he made his mark. After serving in the 
expedition against Louisburg, during the war with France, he 
moved to Scarborough, Me., which became the permanent home 
of himself and of some of his descendants. He was twice mar- 
ried. His first wife, Isabella Bragdon, bore him three children, 
Rufusthe °f whom Rufus, the eldest [1755], became the head 
senator f the New York house. Mary Black, his second 
wife, bore him five children, of whom William became the first 
Governor of the State of Maine, and Cyrus a noted Congressman 
from Massachusetts. 

Rufus was graduated at Harvard in 1777, and studied law with 
Theophilus Parsons, one of the leading jurists of that time. In 
the Revolution he was aide-de-camp to General Glover, under 
General Sullivan's command, and proved himself a brave and faith- 
ful soldier. Of his war experiences, a thrilling story is extant. 
Young King, the General, and the officers were at breakfast about 
a mile distant from Quaker Hill, where a lively cannonading was 
in progress. The meat had not been served when the General 
ordered King to ride over and ascertain how the engagement was 
going. The young officer shook his head sorrowfully at losing 
his morning meal, but nevertheless sprang from his chair on hear- 
ing his commander's words, and ran to where his horse was 
standing. As he did so H. Sherbourne, another officer, slipped 
into his chair at the table, smiling at the departing aide-de-camp. 
King had scarcely mounted his horse when a stray cannon-ball 
entered the dining-tent and mangled Sherbourne's foot and ankle 
so badly that the leg had to be removed. Sherbourne recovered 
and was on warm terms of friendship with King for the rest of his 
life, but ever afterwards he claimed that King owed him leg and 
foot-service, while King, on the other hand, invariably removed 

Iking 207 

his hat and thanked Sherbourne for his courtesy in substituting 
his own leg for King's in the trying ordeal. 

In 1783, Rufus King was elected a member of the Massachu- 
setts General Court, and in 1784 was made a delegate to the 
Continental Congress at Trenton, being returned in 1785 and 1786. 
He took a very active part in the deliberations of that body, and 
was a member of several important committees. In 1787, he was 
a delegate from Massachusetts to the Philadelphia Convention 
which made the present Constitution of the Republic. In this 
struggle, upon which depended the future of the young common- 
wealth, King was easily one of the great leaders. After the final 
draft had been made and the bill referred to the thirteen States for 
their several adoption, he was sent to Massachusetts by Congress 
to secure its passage by that State, which occurred in 1 788. On 
March 31, 1786, he married Mary Alsop, daughter of John Alsop, 
a member of the First Continental Congress from New York, to 
which State he transferred his domicile in 1789, shortly after 
Massachusetts had adopted the Constitution. He had been so 
busy with his political duties that he had had no time to make 
himself acquainted with the people of his new home. Great, 
therefore, was his surprise in the same year when they elected 
him to the New York Assembly, and greater still, a few days after 
joining that body, when made their choice, with Philip Schuyler 
for colleague, as Senator from the Empire State to the First Con- 
gress of the nation. 

His elevation to the Senate disclosed to him the fact that he 
was as much respected in New York as in Massachusetts. 
His career at Washington was marked by ability and fidelity, 
as well as by infinite patience. He was always in his seat, 
and attended every session of the committees to which he 
belonged. He took a strong part in the important debates of the 
period, and was instrumental in shaping the course of legislation 
as well as the policy of the Government. Now that more than a 
century has elapsed, it is easy to see that he was one of the great 
men of that body, and that to him was due much of the welfare 
which the nation subsequently enjoyed. In 1796, he was chosen 

208 Iking 

by George Washington to be Minister to the Court of St. James, 
where he remained during the administration of Adams and for 
two years of Jefferson's. Much work devolved upon the Minister 
at that time, more, in fact, than is the case to-day, but King, with 
characteristic industry, attended to every matter, great and small, 
working sometimes eighteen and twenty hours out of the twenty- 
four. He stood the strain for seven years, and then, finding that 
his health was giving way, he was relieved at his own request. 
Upon his return to New York, he settled at Jamaica, L. I., where 
his mansion house was soon the centre of a large literary and 
political circle. Here for several years he led a studious but busy 
life, expressing himself with force upon the public questions which 
arose from year to year. In all of these utterances he was actuated 
by the sense of right, and frequently took issue with his own party. 
In 1 8 1 3, he was again chosen by the Legislature of New York as 
Senator of the United States, and he was re-elected for the third 
time in 1820, nearly unanimously, only three votes dissenting. As 
early as 1 785, he took strong grounds against slavery and its exten- 
sion. Later he stanchly advocated the plan of converting the pro- 
ceeds of the sale of Government lands into a fund for the purpose 
of emancipating slaves or for their removal, as might be desired 
by the individual States. In 1825, he was again appointed Minister 
to England, where he was heartily welcomed, but after a few 
months he found that his declining strength was insufficient to 
meet the labors of the office, and, with the deep conscientiousness 
which marked his life, he resigned and returned home. He died 
in 1827, leaving five sons. 

In the third generation, each of the five sons of the great 
Senator proved worthy children of their sire. John Alsop, the 
johnAisop oldest [1788], was educated at Harrow and in Paris, 
the Governor Qn his return to New York, he was admitted to the 
bar. In the War of 1812, he volunteered and served in the army 
up to the declaration of peace, becoming lieutenant of cavalry. A 
few years later (1819) he was elected to the Assembly, which 
position he held for several terms. In 1823, he was a State Sen- 
ator, in 182=5, Secretary of the American Legation in London, and 

Mrs. Rufus King 

From the painting by Trumbull 

Iking 209 

in 1849 a Congressman. In 1856, he was elected Governor of New 
York State. For many years he was President of the State Agri- 
cultural Society, and was an earnest advocate of all measures 
tending to benefit the farming interests of the commonwealth. 
He took a deep interest in public affairs up to the very end of his 
life, serving as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 
1867, when seventy-nine years of age. He died the following 
year. His wife was Mary Ray, by whom he had seven children, 
three sons and four daughters. 

Charles, the second son [1789], was an Assemblyman (18 13), 
a soldier in the war with England (18 14), an editor (1820), and 
President of Columbia College from 1849 to 1864. He president 
was conservative in his tendencies, and more of a charies 
scholar than a man of the world. In his editorial labors he set 
high standards, and for many years was a distinguished literary 
critic. In his administration of Columbia, he bent his energies 
toward elevating the scholarship of that institution, and did much 
toward putting it on a plane with the older schools of the land, 
and changing it from a college to a university. During his term 
the institution was removed, in 1857, from its down-town site 
to Madison Avenue and Forty-ninth Street. This change was 
marked by the raising of standards and the creation of new chairs. 
The following year the Law School was established, which has 
since grown into one of the leading professional schools of the 
world. In i860 was brought about the consolidation whereby the 
College of Physicians and Surgeons became the medical depart- 
ment of Columbia College. Most notable of all was the creation 
of the School of Mines in 1864, the year in which he resigned. He 
had foreseen the future importance of science in the university 
curriculum, and was one of the first scholars who favored the 
elevation of science to a parity with the classics. After the trus- 
tees had agreed upon the new department, he made it a point to 
urge thoroughness in the new foundation. It was on account of 
this labor of love that the School of Mines was established upon 
the largest and most generous scale then known in the United 
States. Charles married Eliza Gracie, daughter of Archibald 

210 Ikino 

Gracie, by whom he had seven children, three sons and four 
daughters; and upon the death of his first wife he espoused Hen- 
rietta Low, by whom he had six children. 

James Gore [1791], third son of Rufus, studied in London, 
Paris, and at Harvard, being graduated from the last in 18 10. 
james Gore Owing to these educational advantages, he was recog- 
the Financier n j ze d as one of the most cultured men in the first half 
of the century. In the War of 18 12, when but twenty-three, he 
was Assistant Adjutant-General of the New York militia. In 18 15 
he established, under the firm name of James G. King & Co., a 
commission house in New York, his partner being his father-in- 
law, Archibald Gracie. In 1818, he gave up business in this city, 
and went to England, where, at Liverpool, he formed a partner- 
ship with his brother-in-law under the title of King & Gracie. 
Here he remained six years, winning the friendship and esteem of 
many famous merchants. Notable among these was John Jacob 
Astor, who subsequently named Mr. King as an executor of his 
will and a trustee of the Astor Library. At Mr. Astor's suggestion, 
Mr. King became a partner in the house of Prime, Ward, Sands, 
King, & Co., which in 1826 became the firm of Prime, Ward, & 

He prospered in business and became a leader in the Wall 
Street world. When the financial crisis of 1837 took place, he 
crossed to Great Britain and induced the governors of the Bank 
of England to send five millions in gold to his house for the relief 
of American bankers. This prompt action restored confidence, 
brought back specie payments, and put a quick end to the panic, 
which might otherwise have worked incalculable harm. He be- 
came a member of the Chamber of Commerce in 1817; he served 
as its Vice-President [1 841-1847], and as President [1848- 1849]. 
In the latter year he was elected to Congress from New Jersey, 
and served one term in that body, his service being marked by 
his business ability. He fathered what was known as the " King 
system " for collecting the revenue, which was adopted by the 
Government, and has remained practically unchanged ever since. 
Prior to that time there were many minor officials, each one of 

Iking 211 

whom enjoyed a quasi-independence of the rest. King saw that 
this was unbusinesslike, and that in so important a matter as the 
collecting of a nation's income the system should be as thoroughly 
organized and centralized as in any great commercial house. The 
rapidity with which the nation now transacts its business affairs 
is, therefore, a monument to the genius of James Gore King, the 
financier. He married Sarah Rogers Gracie, daughter of Archibald 
Gracie, and sister of Eliza, who married his brother Charles. The 
union was a very happy one, being blessed by eight children, 
three sons and five daughters. 

Edward [1795], fourth son of Rufus, was a student at Colum- 
bia College and the Litchfield Law School, and was admitted to 
the Ohio bar upon his coming of age. He was one of the pioneers 
of that State, his greatest work being the founding of the Cincin- 
nati Law School in 1833. He married Sarah Worthington, by 
whom he had two sons. A physician, Frederic Gore Dr . Frederic 
[1801], was the fifth and youngest son of Rufus. He Gore 

was graduated from Harvard in 1821, and took his medical degree 
from Columbia in 1824. He finished his studies in Italy and France 
in the following year, and then returned to New York, where he 
soon became a prominent practitioner. He was a staff physician 
of the New York Hospital and a demonstrator of anatomy in the 
College of Physicians and Surgeons. He married Emily Post, 
daughter of Dr. Wright Post, but the union proved childless. 

While the third generation was entirely male, the fourth had 
a preponderance of women, there being eighteen granddaughters 
to thirteen grandsons. Of the former, those who married were : 
Mary, to Phineas M. Nightingale; Elizabeth Ray, to Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Henry Van Rensselaer, U. S. A. ; Caroline, to her cousin, James 
Gore II.; Eliza Gracie, to the Rev. Charles Henry Halsey; Esther, 
to James G. Martin; Alice C, to Andrew Bell Paterson; Emily S., 
to Stephen Van Rensselaer Paterson; Gertrude, to Eugene Schuy- 
ler; Mary A., to William H. Waddington, French Minister at the 
Court of St. James; Caroline, to Denning Duer; Harriet, to Dr. 
George Wilkes; Mary, to Edgar H. Richards ; Frederica Gore, to 
John C. B. Davis, Minister to Germany; and Fanny L., to James 

212 Iking 

L. McLane. Of the grandsons, eleven grew up and filled im- 
portant places in the community. Charles Ray, the oldest son 
Doctor of John Alsop, was graduated from Columbia in 1831, 

Charles Ray an( j f rorn trie University of Pennsylvania, in medicine, in 
1824. He became a successful physician, and married Hannah 
Fisher. Upon her death he espoused her sister, Nancy Fisher. 
John Alsop 11. married Mary Colden Rhinelander. Richard II. 
Brig.-Gen. married Elizabeth Lewis. Rufus II. was graduated 
Rufus 11. f rom West Point, served in the Engineer Corps, and was 
engaged upon the construction of Fortress Monroe. He left the 
army, and became an engineer on the Erie Railway. Thereafter 
he entered journalism, and at one time edited the New York Daily 
Advertiser. He went to Wisconsin, where he was made editor 
of the Milwaukee Sentinel. He was a member of the Constitu- 
tional Convention of Wisconsin, and for his services to the State 
was appointed Minister to Rome in March, 1861. On the out- 
break of the Rebellion, he resigned from the diplomatic service in 
order to enter the army, and rose to the rank of brigadier-general. 
His health breaking down, he retired from the service, and was 
reappointed as Minister to Rome, but returned home in 1867. 
He married Susan Elliott. 

William Gracie, son of Charles, was graduated from Colum- 
bia (1834), an d married Adeline McKee. Cornelius Low was 
graduated from Columbia (1848), and entered the army at the 
outbreak of the Civil War, in which he became lieutenant-colonel. 
He married Julia Lawrence, and, upon her death, Janet de Kay. 
James Gore II. married Caroline King. Archibald Gracie married 
Elizabeth Denning Duer. 

Edward II. [1833], son of James Gore I., was graduated from 
Harvard in 1853, and has been President of the Harvard Club of 
Edward New York. He is prominent in banking circles, and 
the Banker servec i as President of the New York Stock Exchange. 
He belongs to many of the leading clubs of the metropolis, and is 
a trustee of the New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and 
Tilden Foundations. In early life he married Isabella Ramsay 
Cochrane, and, some years after her death, Elizabeth Fisher. 

The Home of Rufus King, Jamaica, Long Island 

Iktno 213 

In the fifth generation, one member of the family has become 
well known. This is General Charles King [1844], son of General 
Rufus King. He was educated at Columbia and West General 
Point, being graduated from the latter in 1866. He Charles 
held numerous military positions, and served many years upon 
the frontier. At the battle of Sunset Pass, Arizona, he was 
severely wounded, and was compelled to retire from the service in 
1879. In 1889, he became professor of military science at the 
University of Wisconsin, and about the same time gained atten- 
tion as an author of military novels. At the breaking out of the 
war with Spain he promptly offered his services and was ap- 
pointed a brigadier-general. He married Adelaide L. Yorke. 
Rufus King III. married Maria Williamson. 

On the female side, this generation became connected with 
many prominent families. Among these were Troup, Fuller, 
Lennig, Screven, Lorillard, Van Rensselaer, Kennedy, Hecksher, 
Waddington, Grinnell, Delafield, Crosby, Davis, Lee, Suydam, 
Brewster, Weekes, Halsey, Vincent, Ward, Clarke, Westervelt, 
Robinson, Gordon, Paterson, Bond, Edwards, Townsend, Van 
Buren, Duer, Travers, Mackay, Bronson, Richards, Parke, Edgar, 
and Williamson. The prestige of the family has been largely 
increased by the achievements of the collateral branches. These, 
as already mentioned, have made records for themselves in other 
States, and of their descendants many have settled in the Empire 
State, and become more or less identified with its interests. 

The characteristics of the family have been energy and ambi- 
tion. The latter has been directed toward power rather than pelf. 
Those who have entered business have been successful, but have 
not attained so high a position comparatively as those who took 
up statecraft or war. In public affairs, the family has a notable 
record, both in Congress and in State Legislatures. They have 
taken part in every war from the early struggles of England 
and the colonies against France and the Indians, down to the re- 
cent conflict with Spain. In each they have won promotion and 
praise. While manifesting a deep love for physical and mental 
activity, they combine with it a strong affection for study and 

214 Iking 

reading. Richard, head of the family in Maine, wrote both prose 
and verse. One of his essays is supposed to have been written 
while he was engaged in the expedition against Louisburg, and it 
is interesting to point out that the latest novel by his great-great- 
grandson, General Charles King, was written in the leisure hours 
of his warfare in the Philippines. 





'HE early part of the seventeenth century 
in Europe was marked by wars and 
a general ebullition of the military 
spirit. Men took to arms just as to- 
day they take to banking or dry- 
goods. Of the stalwart pioneers who 
crossed the ocean to the American 
continent, probably one-fifth was fa- 
miliar with the use of weapons, and 
a tenth had seen service in the field. 
Among the latter was Hendrick Kip, 
or De Kype, who, though politically a 
Hollander, was by birth of the purest French blood. His grand- 
father, Roeloff de Kype, was a nobleman attached to the house 
of Guise during the bitter struggle between the Ro- Hendrick the 
manists and Protestants. He was a brave soldier, and Founder 
took part in many of the engagements between the League upon 
the one side and the Prince of Conde and Admiral Coligny on the 
other. So great was his prowess that he evoked the particular 
animosity of his opponents. When Conde triumphed in 1562, 
the chateau of the De Kype family was burned and its owner 
compelled to fly from his home at Alancon, and take refuge in 
the Low Countries. 

He was accompanied by his three sons, and for six years 
they led a precarious life, often passing under assumed names, 

ai8 1kip 

and hiding at times when their enemies were close upon their 
trail. During much of this period of exile they were compelled 
to find safety in the cathedrals of Northern France and what is 
now Belgium. They were received with warm hospitality by 
the monks, and the sons were educated in the learning of the 
time. In 1569, Roeloff heard of the appearance in the field of 
an army led by the Duke of Anjou. He promptly left cover. 
With his son Henry he joined the Duke's forces and took part 
in the hotly contested battle on the banks of La Charante, near 
Jarnac, where the Prince of Conde' was killed. On the same 
day the brave nobleman gave up his life for the cause of his 

Of the three sons thus thrown suddenly upon their own 
resources, Jean Baptiste, who was a priest, became attached to a 
church in Paris; Henri, a soldier, entered the army of an Italian 
prince, where he rose to high rank; Roeloff II. [1544], tired of war 
and of religious controversy, migrated to Holland, where he be- 
came a Protestant and a citizen of that sturdy commonwealth. He 
settled in Amsterdam, then a rich metropolis, established himself 
as a merchant, and amassed a fortune. He died in 1596, leaving 
his wealth to his son Hendrick. 

Hendrick (1590?) married Margaret de Marveil and continued 
the business founded by his father. In middle life he was a 
prominent merchant of Amsterdam. He probably was a share- 
holder in the Dutch West India Company, as that corporation 
had raised its vast capital from the great merchants of the period. 
At the beginning the enterprise had proved a success, and had 
brought wealth to the country and dividends to the shareholders. 
Holland was full of strange tales respecting the fertility of its new 
possessions in the West, of rich deposits of ores, and an inex- 
haustible supply of rich skins and pelts. Under these influences 
the strong-willed trader determined to start a new life in the 
province of the New Netherlands. He embarked with his wife 
and three children and came to New Amsterdam in 1635. Here 
he bought property, but he could not become accustomed to 
the ways ot the New World. He yearned for the luxuries of 



Htfp 219 

Amsterdam, and after a few years he went back to the old 
country with his wife, where they ended their days. 

In the second generation there were three sons, who became 
burghers in New Amsterdam — Hendrick II., Isaac, and Jacob. 
Hendrick married Anna de Sille, the beautiful daugh- Hendrick 11. 
ter of the Hon. Nicasius de Sille, Councillor of the theCounciI - 

' man 

province, who was the belle of her time; Isaac married 
Catalina de Suyers, and, upon her death, Mrs. Maria Vermilyea; 
and Jacob married Marie de la Montagne, daughter of Dr. de 
la Montagne. All three sons purchased real estate, and took a 
lively part in the politics of the day. Hendrick appears to have 
been the strongest character of the trio. When Governor Kieft 
ordered the ambush and massacre of one hundred and ten de- 
fenceless Indians, men, women, and children, at Corlear's Hook 
and Pavonia, Hendrick was one of the few to protest against the 
act as wanton murder, and to agitate for the deposal of the 
Governor and his forced deportation to Holland. When the latter 
brought all the influence of his office to bear and secured the 
silence, if not the acquiescence, of the burghers, Hendrick was 
the only man who refused to connive at the wrong. 

The Governor summoned the inhabitants to assemble in the 
fort at the Battery to entertain proposals for a treaty of peace to be 
concluded with the Indians. The meeting assembled, and the 
court messenger, Philip de Trury, after the town bell had rung and 
the citizens had come to order, reported that all the burghers on 
the Manhattans, from highest to lowest, had attended, as they all 
had answered kindly, excepting one, Hendrick Kip; and, while 
the entire community was willing to show respect, that burgher 
had expressed only contempt for the Governor. This fearless ac- 
tion won the admiration of the people, who, from this time on, 
looked up to him as a leader. When Governor Stuyvesant suc- 
ceeded Kieft, he reorganized the local government by creating a 
popular Assembly, consisting of nine delegates known as the 
"Nine Men," who were to co-operate with him and his Privy 
Council in the administration. Hendrick was one of the first 
members of this body. 

220 Ikip 

Governor Stuyvesant's motive in ordering this change was to 
win the good will of the people by making a concession to their 
love of freedom. The issue was the old question of political liberty 
and home rule. What the Governor conceded increased the desire 
on the part of the burghers for larger civil rights. The result was a 
constant struggle between the executive and the "Nine Men," 
the one endeavoring to extend his authority, and the other oppos- 
ing him in every way possible. This opposition, being public 
and official, was, of course, talked about, not only in New Amster- 
dam, but in all the other settlements of the New Netherlands. It 
developed into a condition bordering upon anarchy, and probably 
would have resulted in revolution but for the English conquest, 
which put an end to the rule of the West India Company. In 
this struggle Hendrick was one of the leaders of the popular party, 
and seems to have been as much feared by Stuyvesant as by 
Kieft, although the former was a superb soldier and an excellent 
statesman of the old Dutch type. 

Isaac, Hendrick's brother, was essentially a man of affairs. 
Buying a stout sloop, he started a freighting business on the Hud- 
isaacthe son River, with main offices at New Amsterdam, Eso- 
corporai p US ^ anc j p ort Orange. The profits he invested wisely 
in real estate, and among his holdings was a farm which included 
the present City Hall Park. The road to it from the city wall was 
partly through his land, and was known as Kip's Road, and after- 
wards Kip Street. This, during British rule, was changed to the 
present name of Nassau Street. He had a spacious home at New 
Harlem in 1675, where he was the First Corporal of the Night 
Watch. As he was upon the river most of the time, his duties 
were probably less onerous, and certainly less profitable, than 
those of the modern inspector of police. 

Jacobus, the third son, was farmer, merchant, and politician. 
His name appears more frequently in the old records than that of 
any other member of his family. He held the important office of 
schepen no less than six times between i6sq and 1675. 

He received a grant from the Dutch West India Company, 
about 1655, of the property known as the Kip's Bay Farm, the 

IKIP 221 

whole or part of which was held in the family for two hundred 
years, and built thereon what is known as the Kip's Bay Mansion, 
which was taken down in 185 1 to make way for East Thirty- 
fifth Street. The house was said by Benson J. Lossing, a his- 
torian, to be the oldest house then in the State, and in its time one 
of the most splendid, the coat of arms of the family being cut in 
the lintel over the front stoop. He was the founder of that branch 
known to this day as the Kip's Bay Kips. 

In the third generation the family was more numerous and 
powerful than in the second. The Hendrick or Henry branch left 
New York at this time and settled in western New Jersey, where 
they established the New Jersey and Pennsylvania branches of the 
family. This was headed by Nicholas [1666], who, when he mi- 
grated, took with him his parents and the other members of his 

The sons of Isaac, Hendrick [1654], Abraham [1659], Isaac 
[1662], and Jacob [1666], were able and enterprising citizens. 
They were prosperous during their father's life, and upon his 
death inherited extensive estates. They managed these with sin- 
gular skill, and became prominent land-owners. Hendrick and 
Jacob (either his brother or uncle, but more probably the former) 
bought the large tract known as Kipsburgh, which they settled 
and converted into a profitable estate, and which thereafter was 
duly patented into a manor with the manorial rights of the period. 
The four sons married well, their wives being as follows: of Hen- 
drick, Magdalena Van Vleeck; Abraham, Catalina de la Noy; Isaac, 
Sarah de Mille; and Jacob or Jacobus, Rachel Swarthout. 

The children of Jacob were Isaac, Jacob, and John (?). They 
took a much livelier interest in public affairs than their cousins. 
John or Johannes was a member of the Council in 1684, Alderman 
and was an Alderman in 1686-1687, 1691-1692, 1696- John 

1697. Jacob was an Alderman from 1709 to 1728, continuously. 
They displayed the love of freedom and the strong Alderman 
courage which marked their race, and left untarnished Jacob 

records to their descendants. 

In the fourth generation the two prominent characters were 

222 Ikip 

two sons of Jacob — Isaac [1696] and Roeloff [1698?]. Isaac 
was merchant and landed proprietor, who managed his property 
with wisdom. He married Cornelia Lewis, by whom he had 
several children. 

The early part of the eighteenth century was uneventful in 
New York, being a period of quiet and peaceful growth. There 
was a steady influx of people from Europe, especially of the Pala- 
tines. Lands and produce rose in value; business developed, and 
the lords of the manors grew wealthy and powerful, without any 
endeavor on their part. The Kips enjoyed this prosperity with 
their colleagues. 

In the fifth generation, two sons of Isaac deserve mention. 
One was Leonard [1725], who married Elizabeth Marschalk, and 
Leonard the the other Dr. Isaac [1732], who married Rachel Kip of 
churchman Kipsburgh, his cousin. The former, Leonard, was a 
distinguished Churchman, and the latter a generous and public- 
spirited physician. They were notable for their hospitality and 
were popular in colonial society. During the Revolution, Leonard 
was a Royalist, and was punished thereafter by the confiscation of 
his estate. The other members, or most of them, were Revolu- 

Of the twelve children of Jacobus I., Samuel I. [1682] be- 
came the owner of the estate and was succeeded by Jacobus II. 
[1706], who was an old man when the Revolution occurred and 
too feeble to take up arms for the cause of freedom. Too ill to be 
moved, he remained in his house, which stood overlooking the 
East River, near where is now the Thirty-fourth Street ferry. In 
spite of the danger, he stayed manfully at his post, and was in the 
house the day the British fleet opened fire upon the American 
earthworks, situated upon the bluff near his home. During the 
bombardment, he and his family took refuge in the cellar, and so 
escaped injury. Promptly after landing, the British troops occu- 
pied the mansion, but their commander set aside a portion, in- 
cluding three large rooms, for the head of the house and his two 
beautiful daughters. The shock, however, was too much for 
Jacobus, who died before the close of the war. 

~ <- c 


IRip 223 

It was in this mansion that the farewell dinner was given to 
Major Andre, Sir Henry Clinton, and his staff, partly as a compli- 
ment to Andre, then on the eve of departure to consummate 
negotiations with Benedict Arnold. His health was drunk by the 
assembled guests, and when the toastmaster referred to the young 
Major's prospect of being ennobled for his gallantry, the sentiment 
was cheered to the echo. Ten days afterward he had been cap- 
tured, tried, and executed. 

Samuel II. [1731], eldest son of Jacobus II., was a stanch 
Whig during the Revolution, and after the battle of Long Island 
was driven, with a reward of five hundred pounds offered for his 
arrest, from the old mansion at Kip's Bay where but a few days 
before he had been the host of Washington. He returned with 
his family and slaves to Kip's Bay after the Revolution and died 
there in 1804, when the property was partitioned among his nine 

Of these, Henry III. [1785], the youngest, now left his birth- 
place with his young wife, an English lady of the Dakin family, — 
the first intermarriage of this branch of the Kips with any but 
Dutch stock, — and migrated to Utica, N. Y. The house where 
he lived near Utica, with the slaves' quarters attached, is still stand- 
ing. Later he returned to New York, where he died in 1849. His 
life was that of a modest, quiet country gentleman. 

He had eight children, among whom Henry IV. [181 7] showed 
his Dutch energy and thrift by becoming one of the founders of 
the great express transportation business, and until his death (1883) 
was one of its ablest leaders. By his wife, Charlotte M. Wells, of 
Southold, he had three sons, of whom William F. [1855] is the 
chief representative. 

The latter was educated at Harvard (A.B., 1876) and Columbia 
(LL.B., 1879), and for ten years was secretary and chief executive 
of the Civil Service Reform Association of Buffalo; in 1892, was 
secretary to ex-President Cleveland, and for many years has 
been librarian of the Association of the Bar of the City of New 

George Goelet Kip, now of Morristown, N. J., a retired lawyer, 

224 Ikip 

formerly a member of the law firm of Dewitt, Lockwood, & Kip, 
famous as the guardians of rich old Dutch estates, is another 
descendant in this ninth generation of the Kip's Bay branch. 

In the sixth generation Isaac Lewis [1767] and Leonard [1774] 
were prominent. Leonard studied law, became a partner of Judge 
Brockholst Livingston, and afterwards was appointed to an office 
in the Court of Chancery. He married Maria, daughter of Duncan 
Ingraham, by whom he had four children. 

Isaac Lewis, the elder son, married Sarah Smith. He was 
interested in commerce, but devoted himself chiefly to his many 
real-estate holdings. He had three sons. 

In the seventh generation, the Kip family produced many 
notable members. Of Leonard's children, Elizabeth married the 
Rev. Dr. Storrs of St. John's Church, Yonkers ; Sophia, the Right 
Rev. George Burgess, D.D., Bishop of Maine, and Mary, the Hon. 
John Innes Kane. 

The Right Rev. William Ingraham [1S11] married Maria 
Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac Lawrence of New York. He was 
Bishop wni- a graduate of Yale (1831), studied law, and afterwards 
iam ingraham divinity. He was graduated from the General Theo- 
logical Seminary, and was ordained in the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in [835. He received the honorary degrees of A.M. from 
Yale and Trinity, of D.D. from Columbia, and LL.D. from Yale. 
He was a distinguished contributor to the religious press, and was 
the author of nine valuable works. 

Leonard [1S26] married Harriet L., the daughter of the Hon. 

John Van Rensselaer of Albany. He was graduated from Trinity 

(1846). and received the degrees of L.H.D. and LL.D. 

Dr. Leonard , , . , , 

from Hobart in 1893. He studied law, was admitted to 
the bar, and settled in Albany. Here he followed law and litera- 
ture, and in 188s became President of the Albany Institute. He 
has written many articles for the magazines, and published many 
books, including sketches, fiction, historical studies, and short 

Of the children of Isaac Lewis, three held prominent places in 
the public eye— Brockholst Livingston, Leonard William [1796], 

Ikip 225 

and the Rev. Francis M. [ 1 807]. Leonard William was educated at 
Columbia (18 15), where he also took the degree of A.M. in 1820. 
He practised law in New York City, and he took high Leonard 
rank as an authority upon real estate and titles. He wan™ 
was a member of the Board of Council of the University of New 
York, and was influential in developing that institution of learning. 
He married Anne Corbet Wilson. Rev. Francis Maerschalk [1807] 
was graduated from Columbia (1826) and Rutgers (1829). He 
received the degree of S.T.D. in 1857. He married Mary R. 

In the eighth generation, the most distinguished member was 
Colonel Lawrence [1836], son of Bishop William Ingraham. He 
was appointed a cadet at West Point (1853). Upon his coionei 
graduation in 1857 ne became Second Lieutenant in the Lawrence 
Third Artillery, and at once went into active service. He was a 
member of the expedition which General Wright led against the 
Northern Indians, and distinguished himself at the battle of Four 
Lakes and Spokane Plains. His experiences during this campaign 
were written and published afterwards in a delightful book, Army 
Life on the Pacific. At the opening of the Civil War in 186 1, he went 
upon General Sumner's staff as senior aide-de-camp, with rank 
of major. He was with the Army of the Potomac in the battles of 
Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Seven Pines, Allen's Farms, 
Savage's Station, Glendale, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Fredericks- 
burg, Mine Run, and the seven-days' fight in front of Richmond, 
and received many testimonials for gallantry. He was an aide-de- 
camp on Major-General Sheridan's staff, and took part in every 
battle and skirmish under that commander until the surrender of 
Lee. He was made lieutenant-colonel by brevet in 1865, and his 
kinsmen can point with pride to a testimonial in the archives of 
the War Department, written by Sheridan, in which he is stated 
to be "a most brave and gallant officer, possessed of fine intelli- 
gence and gentlemanly demeanor." He married Eva Lorillard, by 
whom he had two children, Eva Kip McCreery and Leonard, who 
died in 1896. 

William Ingraham II. [1840], another son of the Bishop, was 

2 26 Ivip 

a citizen of prominence, who served satisfactorily as Secretary of 
the United States Legation at Tokio in 1S01 and 1862. He mar- 
wmiam ried Elizabeth C. Kinney, by whom he had two sons, 
ingrahamii. William Ingraham 111. [1867] and Lawrence [1869]. 

Dr. Isaac Lewis, son of Leonard W.. was graduated from the 

New York University, in the medical department, oi which he 

afterwards took the decree of M.D. He married Cor- 

Dr. Isaac W. 

nelia. daughter of the Hon. William V. Brady. Mayor 
of "New York, by whom he had two children. Adelaide, who mar- 
ried Philip Rhinelander. and William V. B. 

The Rev. Leonard William. Jr.. was graduated from Columbia 
in 1856, where he afterwards took the degree of A.M.. and received 
Rev. Leonard the degree of S.T.D. from Rutgers in 1SS0. He was 
w., Evangelist intensely devout, and. upon being ordained, he volun- 
teered his services to the American Board of Foreign Missions and 
was detailed to Amoy. China, where he has been a leader in the 
Christian world ever since. 

The family is marked by great intellectual vigor and by a deep 
love of liberty and culture. It has enjoyed the advantages of 
wealth and social position during its nine generations in the New 
World, and long before its founder crossed the sea. It has always 
taken a deep interest in public affairs and has held many public 
positions of honor and responsibility. One list shows more than 
forty who have been selected to represent their fellow-citizens. 
For six generations they have adorned the learned professions, the 
pulpit, the bar. and medicine. Through them runs a strong mili- 
tary instinct, which comes to the surface in even- war. In com- 
mercial life they are active, enterprising, and successful. They 
may be regarded as an admirable type of the American citizen. 




NEW YORK family notable for its num- 
bers, activity, influence, and achieve- 
ment is that of Lawrence, which has 
written its name upon the annals of 
New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, 
Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. It 
has a long and distinguished pedigree, 
the first of the race, so far as geneal- 
>ogy is concerned, having been Robert, 
a daring and doughty crusader, who 
accompanied Richard the Lion-hearted 
to the Holy Land. Here, by his des- 
perate courage at the beleaguerment of St. John D'Acre in 1191, 
where he was the first to plant the banner of the cross on the bat- 
tlements of the city, he won the love of his reckless 

Sir Robert 

monarch, who made him Sir Robert Lawrence of Ash- 
ton Hall, Lancashire, England. From his time down the family 
records are quite complete. 

In the thirteenth century, there was at least one union be- 
tween the Lawrence and Washington families, when Sir James 
Lawrence wedded Matilda Washington, sister of the Lawrence and 
direct ancestor of the first President of the Republic. Washin e ton 
From this time on the name of Lawrence appears constantly in the 
Washington pedigree, the last one of distinction to bear it being 
the half-brother of the General, from whom the latter inherited 

the estate of Mount Vernon. 


230 Xawrcncc 

The original coat-of-arms granted to Sir Robert was pre- 
served and used by his descendants even after they crossed the 
Henry the sea. It was employed on the seal of William in New 
councillor Y ork City (1680) and of Richard (171 1). In the early 
part of the seventeenth century the Lawrences, though of gentle 
blood, sided with the Commons against the Crown, and one of 
them, Henry, a Cambridge graduate, was Lord President of Oliver 
Cromwell's Council, served in Parliament, and held many high, 
offices. This Henry was one of the patentees of a great estate on 
the Connecticut River, and with his colleagues commissioned 
John Winthrop the younger to govern the colony. He was also 
one of the committee of gentlemen who engaged Lyon Gardi- 
ner of Gardiner's Island to go out to the Connecticut River and 
there erect forts for the protection of their estates against the 

Among those that Henry the Councillor sent out to the New 
World were his cousins of Great St. Albans, Hertfordshire. These 
were John [1618] and William [1623], who in turn brought out 
their younger brother, Thomas [162s]. 

John and William sailed from England in [635 on the good 
ship Planter, and with them, as a fellow-voyager, was Governor 
john and Winthrop of Massachusetts. They landed at Plymouth 
wiliiam, anc j removed to Ipswich, where they resided some 


time. On account of the fierce fighting at Saybrook, 
as well as of a threatened Indian uprising in the neighborhood of 
their new home, they determined to remain at the latter, where 
there were many women and children, rather than go to Fort Say- 
brook, which was practically a military garrison. About 1640 
they removed to the western end of Long Island, which was 
then claimed by both England and Holland. With great shrewd- 
ness, the two brothers, though patriotic Englishmen, recognized 
the Dutch suzerainty, and in 1644 obtained, as one of a number of 
patentees, a grant of the territory now known as Hempstead, from 
the Dutch Governor, William Kieft. The next year they, with 
other citizens, obtained the patent of Flushing, L. I., from the 
same Governor. 

£ * 

O P 

*-> 2 

O £ 

Uawrence 231 

They must have been shrewd business men because, besides 
attending to their estates on Long Island, they engaged in mer- 
cantile pursuits in New York and took an active part in politics. 
In 1666, John was an Alderman of the City of New York, and 
one of its wealthiest citizens. The same year they obtained a 
patent for Flushing from Governor Nicoll, confirmatory of the 
one issued by Governor Kieft. In this way they secured their 
title and prevented the litigation which occurred in regard to 
other Dutch patents, unconfirmed by the British authorities. 
Meantime, Thomas, the younger brother, had come Thomas the 
from England, and had joined them in New York. Cadet 

In 1655, the three brothers obtained title to a large tract in New- 
town, L. I., and in 1689 they received a patent for their estates 
from Governor Dongan. Subsequently, Thomas purchased the 
whole of Hellgate Neck, extending along the East River from 
Hell Gate Cove to Bowery Bay, consisting of four valuable farms 
and several pieces of pasture and woodland. 

All three brothers were men of great importance in New 
York. John made New Amsterdam his permanent residence in 
1658, but retained a country house near Flushing. He 

~ . ~ ~ Mayor John 

was a Boundary Commissioner under Governor Stuy- 
vesant in 1663, Alderman in 1665, Mayor of the city in 1672, and 
member of the Council in 1674, in which office he continued till 
1698. He was again Mayor in 1691, and in 1692 became Judge of 
the Supreme Court, which office he held until his death in 1699. 
By his wife Susanna he had six children, none of whom left male 
issue. His daughter Mary, who married William Whittinghame, 
was the mother of Mary Saltonstall, wife of Governor Saltonstall 
of Connecticut, who gave princely endowments to both Harvard 
and Yale Colleges. 

William remained at Flushing, where he was a magistrate 
under the Dutch Government, and, after the English conquest, a 
captain under the new regime, as well as a Judge of Jud e 

the North Riding of Yorkshire, as that part of Long wiiiiam 
Island was then called. He resided upon Lawrence Neck, and was 
very wealthy. The inventory of his estate is on file in the New 

232 Xavurencc 

York Surrogate's office. He was twice married, having two sons 
by his first wife, and by his second, Elizabeth Smith, seven child- 
ren. The second wife, Elizabeth, was a woman of extraordinary 
endowments; after the death of William she married Sir Philip 
Carteret, Governor of New Jersey. It was in her honor that the 
Governor named Elizabeth, Elizabethtown, and Elizabethport in 
the latter colony. 

Thomas, the youngest brother, settled on his estate at Hell 
Gate Neck. During the troublous times of the Leisler Adminis- 
Major tration he was appointed Major-Commander of the 

Thomas Militia of Queens County. He was the head of the 
Newtown branch of Lawrences, which is the largest, and is repre- 
sented in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey by numerous 
descendants, and by a few in more than twenty States of the 

In the second generation were many sons who inherited the 
thrift and high intelligence of their fathers, and who built up 
extensive estates upon Long Island and elsewhere. Through 
their wealth and connections by marriage, they held a high 
position in New York society, many of them having residences 
during the winter or the entire year in the latter city. Among 
those worthy of mention were William, the oldest son of William, 
who married Deborah Smith, daughter of Richard Smith, the 
patentee of Smithtown, L. !. This marriage brought him a large 
holding of real estate, almost doubling his riches. There were 
twelve children by the union. 

Joseph, the second son of William, by his second wife, Eliza- 
beth, married Mary Townley, daughter of Sir Richard Townley. 
Joseph the This made him connected with the Howards of Effing- 
Land-owner ham, who afterwards became the Earls of Effingham. 
Lord Effingham at that period was the commander of a British 
man-of-war, which was attached to the North American station, 
and which was usually moored in Long Island Sound, oppo- 
site to Joseph's mansion. Lady Effingham lived most of the time 
with her sister, Mrs. Joseph Lawrence, so that the home was the 
centre of a large and fashionable circle. Joseph entertained very 

ILawrence 233 

generously, and his mansion was usually crowded with society 
people from New York and Brooklyn. He had his own sloop, 
with which to bring visitors from the metropolis; frequently, when 
there were large functions, the boats of the war-ship were put at 
his disposal. It was in honor of the friendship superinduced 
by this marriage that Joseph's grandson was named Effingham, 
from whom descended the Effingham Lawrences of New York, 
Queens, and London, England. 

Captain John, High-Sheriff of Yorkshire, the third son of 
Thomas, remained at Newtown and married Deborah, daughter of 
Richard Woodhill, patentee of Brookhaven, by whom he had 
three sons. This was another union of landed proprietors which 
strengthened the powerful Newtown branch. 

The third generation was very numerous. The leading mem- 
bers were Adam, son of William II. , who was a member of the 
State Legislature, High Sheriff of Queens County, and High-sheriff 
a leading churchman. John [1703], son of Joseph, was Adam 

born in Flushing, but migrated with his stepfather, Lord Carteret, 
to Elizabethtown, N. J. He inherited an estate there which was 
held by the family through several generations. Business took 
him to Newport and Providence, R. I., where he was largely 
interested in shipping. By his first wife, Mary Woodbury, he 
had eight sons and three daughters; but by his second, Elizabeth 
Little, no issue. Richard [1691], son of Joseph, married Hannah 
Bowne, daughter of the Rev. Samuel Bowne, of the Society of 

Thomas, son of John of Newtown, married Deborah Woolsey, 
and removed to West Farms, Westchester County, where he 
made a permanent home. He had four children, one of whom 
became the head of the Westchester family. 

Judge John [1695], son of Captain John, was a wealthy 
farmer and magistrate who married Patience Sackett. Judge John 
Jonathan, third son of Jonathan V., son of Thomas I., settled 
in the Bronx, moved to Tappan, Rockland County, where he 
purchased the ancestral estate of the Ludlow family. He married 
Mary Betts of Newtown, by whom he had nine children. 

234 Xawrcncc 

The family had become rich and powerful in the fourth gen- 
eration. Many sons relinquished the care of estates and entered 
the professions and into mercantile pursuits. Dr.Will- 
i.iui, son oi Obadiah, who was a son of William and 
Deborah Smith, was a successful physician in Oyster Bay. 

Effingham | 1734], the third son of Richard, removed to Lon- 
don, and became a member ol the Elder Brethren of the Trinity 
House, the official organization which controls British 
marine and naval interests. He married Catherine 
Farmer, by whom he hail issue. 

Joseph I 1729], oldest son of John, removed with his father to 
Newport and Providence, where he became distinguished in marine 
insurance. He drafted the charter for the Providence Mutual 
Fire Insurance Company, and became its secretary and manager. 
Through his remarkable energy, he made that body the most 
flourishing institution of its class in the country. He married, 
first, Amy Whipple, by whom he had five children, and, second, 
Mrs. Susanna T. Eaton, by whom he had six. 

David 1 1738 1, brother of the preceding (Joseph), was a famous 
patriot in the Revolution. He was an intimate friend of Benjamin 
David Franklin and Samuel Adams. Having amassed a for- 

the Patriot j une j n com mcrce, he retired from business, and re- 
moved from Providence to Hudson, N. Y., of which town he was 
one of the thirty proprietors. Here he was Judge, Recorder, and 
Mayor, and in his leisure hours contributed to the literature of the 
period. He married Sybil Sterry, by whom he had four sons and 
five daughters. 

Captain Thomas [1732], son of Thomas of West Farms, was a 
gallant soldier in the Revolution, where he served as lieutenant, 
capuin With the establishment of peace, he removed to Mount 
Thomas Pleasant, Westchester County, and afterwards to Red 
Hook, Columbia County. He married Elizabeth Girard, by whom 
he had issue. 

John [1721], the oldest son of Judge John and Patience Sack- 
ett, left Newtown for New York while still in his teens, and 
there became an eminent merchant. He married Catherine Liv- 

Residence of John L Lawrence in East 14th Street, 
about 1870 

Xawrcnce 235 

ingston, daughter of the Hon. Philip Livingston, but had no 

Richard [1725], his brother, was a captain of horse in the 
Revolution, and was captured by the British and confined in the 
jail which is now the Hall of Records in City Hall Park. captain 
Here he contracted wasting fever, and died shortly after Richard 
the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. He had been unable to 
leave his bed for several days when the news was brought to him. 
He made the bearer repeat it, and then rising to his feet he de- 
clared his readiness to die, now that the ultimate triumph of his 
country was secured. He passed away shortly afterwards, ac- 
cording to an old chronicler, from too much happiness of heart. 

Captain Thomas [1733], another brother, enlisted in the navy, 
where he became commander of the ship Tartar and did efficient 
work during the old French War. In 1784, he was a captain 
judge of Queens County, which office he held nearly Thomas 
to his death, in 1816. He married Elizabeth Fish, daughter of 
Nathaniel Fish, by whom he had a numerous family. 

Major Jonathan [1737], brother of the foregoing, was a mer- 
chant and a partner in the house of Watson, Murray, & Lawrence. 
He retired from business at the age of thirty-four with Major 

a very large fortune, and purchased an estate at Hell Jonathan 
Gate, which had belonged to his great-grandfather, Thomas. In 
1774, he became prominent as a Revolutionary leader. In 1775, 
he was a member of the Provincial Congress at New York. In 
the Convention of 1776- 1777 he was one of the members which 
framed the first constitution of the State. At the breaking out of 
the war, he went to the front as major, and served his country 
upon the field and in the Cabinet. In 1777, he was elected tem- 
porary Senator, which he remained until 1783. He also served 
as Assemblyman, Commissioner of Forfeitures, and Commissioner 
for the Redemption of Money. With the return of peace, he 
found that his estates had been ruined and his fortune dissipated. 
He re-entered business, and by economy and energy made a sec- 
ond fortune. He married twice : first, Judith Fish, and, second, 
Ruth Riker. 

236 Xawrcncc 

The chief members of the fifth generation were Effingham 
[1760], son of John, who was a wealthy merchant and real-estate 
owner. He was one of the founders of the famous Tontine Coffee- 
House Association of New York. He married Elizabeth Watson, 
by whom he had issue. 

Effingham, son of Joseph, was first judge of Queens County. 
He married Anna Townsend. Walter [1781], oldest son of Joseph, 
judge was a brave officer in the United States Navy, and 

Effingham serV ed under Captain William Bainbridge in the war 
with the Algerian pirates. 

Samuel Adams [177s], the third son of David, settled in New 
York, where he was an importer, and thereafter director and pres- 
ident of many corporations and institutions. He was the friend 
and backer of De Witt Clinton, who always referred to him as 
"his Benjamin." He married Catherine Remsen, by whom he 
had eleven children. 

William [1776], son of Thomas, was the first manufacturing 
druggist and chemist in the New World. His works stood on 
ground now occupied by Essex Market. He served through the 
War of 1812, where he had a fine record. He married Thamer 
Fisher, by whom he had seven children. 

Jonathan [1767], son of Major Jonathan and Judith Fish, was 
a banker and insurance official in New York City, a member of 
the Board of Aldermen, and a prominent church worker. 

Samuel [1773], son of Jonathan and Ruth Riker, was a man 
of high distinction. He was a lawyer, judge of the Marine Court, 
judge Assemblyman, City Clerk, Register, Presidential Elec- 

samuei tor ^ an( j Congressman. He married Elizabeth Ireland 

and had a numerous family. 

Captain Andrew [1775], second son of Jonathan, took to the 
sea and became a famous skipper. At the age of nineteen, he 
captain commanded a ship, and at thirty discovered that a 
Andrew ^jght on the West African coast was one of the mouths 
of a great river, which was afterwards named the Niger. 

Richard [1778], third son of Jonathan, was a brilliant mer- 
chant, who developed, if he did not found, the East Indian traffic 

O £ 

CD z? 
'-> a. 

— o 

Hawrence 237 

with New York. He was very active in New York commercial 
affairs (1815-1855). 

Abraham Riker [1780], fourth son of Jonathan, was graduated 
from Columbia (1797), was a great merchant, politician, capitalist, 
and railway man. He was a candidate for Congress, and Presi- 
dential Elector. 

Joseph [1783], the fifth son of Jonathan, a merchant in the 
East India trade, married Mary Sackett. 

Hon. John L. [1785], the sixth son of Jonathan, was graduated 
from Columbia (1803), and for thirty years was a distinguished 
lawyer, whose specialty was banking and corporations. Hon. johnL., 
He was Secretary of Legation at Sweden, member of senator 
the Constitutional Convention of 1821, Assistant Register of the 
Court of Chancery, Presidential Elector, State Senator, City Comp- 
troller, Assemblyman, Treasurer of Columbia College, first Presi- 
dent of the Croton Aqueduct Commission, and United States 
Charge d'Affaires at the Court of Sweden. He married Sarah 
Augusta Smith, by whom he had eleven children. 

William T. [1788], the seventh son of Jonathan, was a wealthy 
merchant, who retired from commercial pursuits and purchased a 
great estate on Cayuga Lake. He was judge of Tompkins County 
and member of Congress from that district. He married Margaret 
Sophia Muller. 

Many representatives of this generation moved to other dis- 
tricts and became the heads of branches. Thomas [1775], son of 
Captain Jonathan, moved from Rockland County and settled in Ul- 
ster. He married Sarah, daughter of Nehemiah Smith. 

Nicholas, son of John, settled in Richmond County. Estell 
[1738], his brother, who married Mary A. Jones, and his cousin, 
John, son of David, moved to South Carolina, and established a 
well-known branch of Lawrences in that commonwealth. 

More than thirty were members of large firms in New York 
City at the beginning of the nineteenth century. There were four 
firms in which the seniors were members of the Lawrence-Bowne 
branch and adherents to the Society of Friends. Their establish- 
ments were on Pearl Street, and by the merchants of the time the 

238 Xawrcncc 

neighborhood was styled Quakertown. With the honesty for 
which the " Friends " are proverbial, none of these firms, tradition 
says, ever failed, and nearly all of them attained affluence. 

The fifth generation found the family high in social, commer- 
cial, and agricultural life, and widely distributed throughout the 
Union. They still held their original homesteads upon Long 
Island, in Westchester, New York County, and in Elizabethtown, 
N. J., and in addition they had descendants in Suffolk County, 
Kings, Dutchess, Putnam, Ulster, Rockland, Orange, and Richmond 
counties ; also in Pennsylvania, Maryland, North and South Caro- 
lina. Many members held high positions under the British Crown 
in England, and a few were scattered in the leading commercial 
seaports of foreign lands. They had supplied many brave soldiers 
and sailors to the American Government, and had filled numerous 
places of honor and trust, from the lowest to the highest. Their 
cousins of the Massachusetts branch had run a similar course, and 
reflected honor upon the name of the race. Their vitality was 
unimpaired, and they had fulfilled the Scriptural injunction to in- 
crease and multiply. 

At the opening of the nineteenth century, the family name 
was covered with laurels by the heroism of Capt. James [1781] of 
capt. james the United States Navy. Appointed a midshipman in 
the Hero j^^ j ie p r0 ved so admirable a seaman that he was made 
acting lieutenant two years afterwards. He participated in the war 
with Tripoli, commanding a gunboat as second in command to 
Commodore Decatur, when the latter's expedition destroyed the 
frigate Philadelphia under the guns of the African citadel. For 
five years he cruised along the Barbary coast, running down the 
pirates who had made those waters a scene of blood and robbery 
for years. He did efficient work, and in 1808 was promoted to be 
first lieutenant. Three years afterwards saw him captain and in 
command of the sloop-of-war Hornet. 

When hostilities broke out with Great Britain, he sailed down 
the coast of Brazil, where he performed the odd feat of blockading 
a British man-of-war in a neutral harbor. On February 4, 181 1, 
he encountered the British man-of-war-brig Pcjcock, and a stirring 



£ is 

a. e 

Xawrence 239 

engagement took place. The action was brilliant and brief. The 
British aimed poorly, while the American fire was accurate and 
swift. The Peacock was so badly injured that she sank shortly 
after hauling down the flag, which took place fourteen minutes 
from the first gun-fire. Lawrence saved the officers and crew of 
the Peacock, and carried them home with him upon his ship, reach- 
ing New York on March 20th, where he received a popular wel- 
come of the most enthusiastic kind. Later, Congress presented a 
gold medal to his nearest male kinsman and silver medals to his 

He was then promoted to take command of the Chesapeake, 
one of the finest frigates of the time. This vessel had, however, 
the reputation of being unlucky, which, in those days, made its 
command an unpleasant responsibility. While preparing the ship 
at Boston, the British frigate Shannon arrived and cruised outside 
of the harbor, waiting to give battle to the Chesapeake. Here Cap- 
tain Lawrence made the mistake of allowing gallantry to precede 
wisdom, which cost him his ship and probably his life. Instead 
of waiting within the harbor until he had trained and drilled his 
men, most of whom were raw recruits, and unused to naval 
armaments and the system of a man-of-war, he sailed the moment 
that his ship was fully manned. On June 1, 1813, the Chesapeake 
spread sails to meet the Shannon, which lay a few miles offshore. 
The battle began at 5:50 p.m. The firing was terrific, and at six 
o'clock Lawrence was mortally wounded. He gave the famous 
order: "Tell the men to fire faster, and not give up the ship." 
Two minutes afterwards the crews of the two vessels, which had 
come together, engaged in a desperate combat upon the decks, 
and at five minutes after six the Shannon had won the victory. 
The Chesapeake was carried to Halifax by a prize crew, and on the 
trip Lawrence became delirious, repeating over and over again, 
"Don't give up the ship!" He died before the journey was 
terminated. He married Julia Montandevert of New York, by 
whom he had one surviving child, Mary, who married Lieu- 
tenant William Preston Griffin, of Virginia. 

The sixth generation furnished more men of state and national 

240 Xawrcncc 

note than any preceding one. Watson Effingham [1788], son of 
Effingham, inherited a tine fortune which he employed wisely in 
judge many ventures. Shortly after coming of age he was 

watson e. ma( j e a magistrate of Flushing, which office he held until 
1825, when he settled in New York City. While here he bought 
a great tract of land in Ulster County and established hydraulic 
cement works which soon brought into being a large and lucrative 
industry. He built houses for his employees and named the town 
Lawrenceville. At his death he was the wealthiest citizen in that 
part of the State. His wife was Augusta M. Nicoll, the great- 
granddaughter of William Nicoll, the patentee of Long Island. 
They had eleven children, of whom Effingham Nicoll alone grew 
up, married, and had issue. 

John Watson [1800], his brother, was active in private and 
public affairs. He resided in both New York City and Flushing, 
john w., and from the latter locality was sent to the Assembly 

Congressman jn ,3^ and ,3^ an( j {o CongreSS f rom ,845 tO 1 847. 

In 1847, he was elected President of the Seventh Ward Bank in 
New York, where he served with signal success. He married 
Mary K. Bowne, daughter of the Hon. Walter Bowne, Mayor of 
New York, by whom he had ten children. 

Cornelius Van Wyck [1791], son of Henry and Harriet Van 
Wyck, engaged in mercantile pursuits in New York in 18 12, where 
Mayor Cor- he was successful from the First. He took an energetic 
nehus v. w. ^j. j n ] oca j ma tters and was elected to Congress in 
1833. He resigned the following year to become Mayor of New 
York City, he being the first occupant of that office who was 
elected by popular suffrage. On the expiration of his term he was 
re-elected, and while Mayor was a Van Buren Presidential Elector. 
He served capably as Collector of the Port for two years. For 
twenty years he was President of the Bank of the City of New 
York. He was also a director of the Bank of the United States 
and the Bank of America, and a trustee of many trust, fire, and 
marine insurance companies, retiring from business life in 1856. 
He married, first, Maria C. Prall; second, Rachel A. Hicks; and 
third, Mrs. E. N. Lawrence. 

Xawrencc 241 

Joseph [1797], his brother, had a similar commercial career, 
but took no part in politics, confining his leisure to social and re- 
ligious duties. He was President of the Bank of the Joseph 
State of New York, and of the United States Company, the Banker 
Treasurer of the city of New York, and a director in many moneyed 
institutions. He married Rosetta Townsend, by whom he had 
seven children. 

Dr. Samuel Sterry [1804], son of Samuel Adams and Catharine 
Remsen, was a medical practitioner of great popularity and gener- 
osity. From his father he inherited a fortune which 

J Dr. Samuel S. 

enabled him to gratify his scientific and literary tastes, 
as well as to contribute largely to the charities of the time. He 
married Christiana Knell, by whom he had two sons. Ferdinand 
[1807], his brother, was a wealthy merchant who also inherited 
large means. He married Isabella Eliza Burgoyne. 

Eugene [1823], the author, another brother, was educated at 
Princeton and the New York University, studied law at Harvard, 
was admitted to the New York bar, and practised for Eugene 
several years. His patrimony enabled him to gratify theAuthor 
his liberal tastes, he relinquished the legal profession, and took up 
literature as a calling. He went to Europe, where he prosecuted 
special studies at London and Paris. His literary work was exten- 
sive, varied, and of a high character. He contributed to encyclo- 
paedias and other works of reference, and published many 
monographs and magazine articles of interest and value. His 
best-known work is The Lives of the British Historians, after 
which come historical studies, literary primers, and a history of 
Rome. He never married. 

William Beach [1800], son of Isaac and Cornelia Beach, was 
one of the great jurists of the United States. He was graduated 
from Columbia in 1818, where he took his A.M. degree wm. Beach 
in 1823. He received the same degree from Yale th e jurist 
(1826); LL.D. from Brown University in 1869, and J. CD. from the 
University of the City of New York (1873). He studied law, and 
in 1823 was admitted to the bar; 1826 saw him Secretary of the 
United States Legation at the Court of St. James, and the following 

242 lawrcncc 

year Charge d'Affaires. In the next four years he passed 
most of his time in Paris, studying the Code "Napoleon and the 
Roman Law. In 1811 he returned to New York and formed a law 
partnership with Hamilton Fish. Some papers which he had writ- 
ten on political economy attracted attention, and he was asked 
to deliver a course of lectures at Columbia College upon that 
subject. These were so successful that they were repeated before 
the Mercantile Library Association, and thereafter published in 
book form. He built up an extensive practice and became both 
counsel and director of the Erie Railway. In 1845, he purchased 
Ochre Point at Newport, R. L, erected a villa, and made it his 
permanent residence. Six years later, he was elected Lieutenant- 
Governor of Rhode Island, in which office he brought to success 
the movement in that State for abolishing imprisonment for debt. 

In 1873, he was the senior counsel for the claimants in the 
case of the Circassian before the British and American Interna- 
tional Tribunal at Washington. His argument in this litigation 
was a masterly exposition of private international law and estab- 
lished several precedents upon important points. He was an 
active member of the New York Historical Society, and for nine 
years its vice-president. Though a busy lawyer, he found time 
to write many works of literary, legal, and political value, as well 
as to translate several books from the French. No less than 
twenty volumes bear testimony to his industry and research. 
For many years he was a trustee of the College of Physicians and 
Surgeons, now a part of Columbia University. He married Miss 
Gracie, daughter of Hon. Archibald Gracie, by whom he had 
issue. The sisters of William Beach were prominent in New 
York and Newport society. Cornelia A. married James A. Hill- 
house, the poet and novelist; Harriet married Dr. John A. Poole; 
Isaphene C, Dr. Benjamin McVickar; Julia B., Thomas L. Wells; 
and Maria E., the Rev. Dr. William Ingraham Kip, Protestant 
Episcopal Bishop of California. 

Of the children of Jonathan the banker, Henry became a 
merchant in Manila, Philippine Islands, and accumulated a large 
fortune. He retired from business in middle life, and spent the 

Xawrence 243 

rest of his days in New York City, where he was noted for his 
hospitality. William Anson, his brother, was a merchant at 
Canton, China, and died there, leaving a fine estate. His 
remains were brought to this country and interred in Greenwood 
Cemetery ; they are marked by a monument famous for its 

Jonathan, Jr. [1807], was a graduate of Columbia (1823) and 
a writer of remarkable promise. His poems appeared in periodi- 
cals, but leaped into instant popularity. Both his verse Jonathan 
and prose received the highest praise from the critics thePoet 
of his time. Many of them were collected after his death by his 
brother and published in book form. Richard, the fourth brother, 
was a merchant and investor in New York in the middle of the 
nineteenth century. 

Dr. Jonathan, son of Congressman Samuel of Cayuga, was 
educated for a physician, but devoted much of his life to travel. 
He was rich both by inheritance and by marriage, and Dr , Jonathan 
was conspicuous in social circles in New York, Lon- the Traveller 
don, and Paris. He married Mary Richardson, by whom he had 
one son. 

The sons of the Hon. John L. were prominent in city affairs 
in the middle of the nineteenth century. The oldest, John Smith, 
was a distinguished lawyer and financier. Richard was a young 
man of rare promise who died at Manila, P. I. William Thomas 
entered mercantile life. His wife was Sophy Tilley. Charles 
William was active in local affairs, and held many offices under the 
city Government. Abraham Riker was from the first Judge 

the most distinguished member of his branch of the Abraham r. 
family. He was admitted to the New York bar in 1853, and from 
that time on has been steadily before the public. His first public 
position was Assistant Counsel to the Corporation, from 1853 to 
1858. In 1867, he was elected a delegate to the Constitutional 
Convention. In 1873, he was chosen by a handsome majority to 
the Supreme Court Bench, and was re-elected in 1887. In the 
administration of justice he has displayed rare dignity, ability, 
and knowledge, and is deservedly regarded to-day as one of the 

244 TLawrcncc 

ablest jurists of the nation. In i860, he espoused Eliza, only 
daughter of Dr. William Miner, by whom he had issue. 

Alfred Newbold [i8n], son of John Burling and Hannah 
Newbold, was a distinguished merchant, who acquired a large 
estate. He married Elizabeth, daughter of the Hon. John L. 
Lawrence and Sarah Smith, by whom he had issue. 

Edward Newbold [180s], brother of Alfred Newbold, was a 
merchant and landed-owner. He married Lydia A., daughter of 
the Hon. Effingham Lawrence and Anna Townsend, by whom he 
Brig.-Generai had issue. In the seventh generation, a brilliant sol- 
Aibertc dier was Brigadier-General Albert Gallatin [1834], son 
of William Beach. He lived abroad in his youth and spent many 
years upon the Continent. His schooling was obtained at the 
Anglo-American Academy in Vevay, Switzerland. Here he ob- 
tained a knowledge of European languages that proved of great 
value in after-life. Upon his return to America he entered Har- 
vard, where he was graduated in 1856, and from the Harvard Law 
School in 1858. Soon after graduation, he was appointed attache 
of the United States Legation at Vienna. Upon the breaking out 
of the Civil War, he resigned his post, came back to New York, and 
enlisted in the army. He served with almost reckless bravery, 
and at Fort Fisher, where he led the forlorn hope against the 
Southern earthworks, he lost his right arm. In 1865, he was bre- 
vetted brigadier-general. The following year, when he had re- 
gained his health, he was appointed by President Johnson Minister 
to Costa Rica. He made an able representative; but through 
impulsive patriotism he took umbrage at a Prussian attache" who 
had spoken disparagingly of the United States, and challenged the 
latter to a duel. The duel was fought, his antagonist wounded, 
and the Prussian Government provoked. The General was re- 
called to Washington, and thereafter made Indian Commissioner. 
He investigated the grievances of Sitting Bull, and represented the 
Government with great tact and judgment in negotiations with 
many Western Indian tribes. He never recovered entirely from 
the loss of his arm, and died in 1887. 

John L. [1857], son of Alfred Newbold and Elizabeth Law- 

Lawrence 245 

rence, is prominent in metropolitan society. He resides on the 
ancestral estate at Lawrence, L. I. He married, in 1895, Alice 
Warner Work, daughter of I. Henry Work and Marie P. Warner. 

William Miner, son of Judge Abraham R., has taken part in 
public affairs, having represented the Eleventh Assembly District 
of the city of New York in the State Legislature. He married 
Lavinia Oliver, by whom he has had issue, Oliver and Clement. 

Ruth, his sister, is an eminent worker among the patriotic 
and Revolutionary societies of the metropolis, and an author of 
many short stories and a volume of poems. She is a Rut h, Author 
member of the Colonial Dames, the Daughters of the and Poet 
American Revolution, and the Daughters of the Cincinnati, and 
through her ancestry is eligible to nearly every colonial organiza- 
tion extant. 

The Lawrences have been remarkable for their activity, 
energy, and industry. Few families of which there are any 
records can begin to compare with them either in regard to these 
qualities, or what is equally important so far as the State is con- 
cerned, in regard to their numbers and vitality. Though they 
marry as a class later in life than does the average citizen, they 
nevertheless have much larger families than the normal and a 
larger number of sons. This is shown in many ways. The 
records of the Register's and County Clerk's offices, the civil list 
of the United States, the triennial catalogues of Columbia, Har- 
vard, and other institutions of learning, the red book of New York 
State, the records of the Exchanges, and The Old Merchants of 
New York fairly bristle with the name. More than two hun- 
dred are chronicled in the Lives of the Old Merchants alone, 
and more than fifty are inscribed in the red book. On account of 
their numbers, their connections by marriage would fill an entire 
volume. A good illustration of this may be found in the will of 
Catharine Lawrence in the New York Surrogate's office. She 
was a Livingston by birth, and a society leader of her time. She 
died seized of a large estate, which she distributed in a thought- 
ful manner to her relatives and to the charities of her day. A 
part of this document reads as follows : 

246 lawrence 

" Catharine Lawrence of the city of New York, widow of John 
Lawrence, deceased, devises to the children of her late grand- 
niece Mary Houston, of her grand-niece Catharine Johnson; to 
Mary Louisa Stoutenburg and Philip Tredwell Stoutenburg, grand- 
children of her niece Mary Linn; to Alexander Duer and Catharine, 
children of her niece Lady Catharine Neilson; to the children of 
her niece Judith Watkins; to the children of her nephew William 
Livingston; to Harriet Ogden, one of the children of her niece 
Sarah Ogden; to John Duer, one other of the children of her said 
niece Lady Catharine Neilson; to Catharine Cooledge and Alida 
Hoffman, two of the children of her nephew Philip Hoffman, etc., 




HERE is a certain dualism in the Celtic, 
and more particularly in the Cymric 
and Gaelic, character, which manifests 
itself at times in the coexistence of the 
most contradictory qualities in the 
same individual. The Welsh miner 
is often a bard and the Caledonian 
peasant the possessor of second sight. 
The annals of Wales and of Caledonia 
abound with examples of this singular 
and interesting type. It may have 
been produced by centuries of com- 
munion with the bleak climate, inhospitable country, and sterile 
soil. No matter how produced, it seems to have become an 
integral part of the organism, and to be transmissible from father 
to children and children's children. 

Among the many brilliant New Yorkers of the eighteenth 
century there is no better illustration of this class than Francis 
Lewis [17 1 3], a signer of the Declaration of Independ- Francis 
ence. His father was the rector of the parish of the signer 
Llandaff in Glamorganshire; his mother, the daughter of the Rev. 
Dr. Pettingal, rector of the parish of Caernarvon. Both parents 
enjoyed a thorough culture, more than ordinary mental attain- 
ments, and high social position. From them he inherited a love 
of learning, and especially of poetry and romance. The death of 

250 Xcwte 

his mother, when he was but a child, threw him under the in- 
fluence of an aunt named Llanwelling, who was a noted scholar 
in a community where every one was imbued with literary tastes. 
She taught Lewis the Cymric language and the literature and 
history of its people. The death of his father transferred his 
guardianship to his maternal uncle, the Dean of St. Paul's. 

The latter admired the mental abilities of the boy and saw, or 
thought that he saw, in him the embryo of a great divine. He 
sent the youth to Westminster, where he proved a scholar of 
aptness and ambition. Here he received a good English educa- 
tion, a fair knowledge of Greek and Latin, and some instruction in 
French. Upon finishing the curriculum of Westminster, he went 
to the Scotch Highlands to visit a maternal relation. Here he 
acquired the Gaelic speech, a love of hunting and adventure, and 
a dislike of the English Government. It is worthy of note that his 
home in Glamorganshire and that of his kinsmen in the Highlands 
were centres of political disaffection. In after-life, he declared that 
before he had reached manhood's estate he was, without knowing 
it, a rebel against the British Administration. It was probably 
the opinions thus formed which prevented his taking orders, as 
had been intended by his relatives, and induced him to engage in 
a commercial life. 

On coming of age, he converted his patrimony into money, 
and this into a cargo of merchandise, with which he set sail from 
London {circa 17^4) for New York. He had overestimated the 
commercial importance of the latter city, and found to his sur- 
prise, when he arrived, that he could not dispose of more than 
one half of his cargo at a fair profit. Undiscouraged, he sold the 
moiety, and sailed with the remainder to Philadelphia, where he 
disposed of it upon better terms than he had obtained for the first 
half. The entire transaction must have been very profitable, as 
immediately thereafter he took a partner, Edward Annesley, and 
established a business house in both "New York and Philadelphia. 

This double arrangement surprised the staid merchants of the 
time, who saw in it an unwarrantable extravagance, but its suc- 
cess soon proved the wisdom of the young man. For a return 

lewis 251 

cargo he bought wheat. Philadelphia could supply but one half 
the quantity at reasonable rates. This he purchased, and then 
sailed his ship to New York, where he secured the other half. 
The firm prospered, and both members became very wealthy. 
He retired from business prior to the Revolution with a handsome 

During his mercantile career he displayed every now and 
then those curious romantic traits to which reference has already 
been made. He noticed on one of his voyages a marked resem- 
blance between a cabin-boy and his wife, who was Elizabeth 
Annesley— a sister of his partner and a relative of the Earl of 
Anglesey. Upon questioning the youth, Lewis ascertained that 
the boy had been stolen from his parents, and further investiga- 
tion showed that the little waif was the undoubted heir of the house 
of Anglesey. Lewis took up the fight, which he prosecuted with 
great vigor, and succeeded in giving the boy his title and estates. 
It was a poor investment for the philanthropist. The Earl proved 
ungrateful, and turned out to be a disgrace to the family name. 

Even more romantic was "the adventure of the African 
princes." The captain of one of his trading-ships, while sailing 
on an African river, rescued the children of an inland chief or king, 
and brought them back with him to New York, where Lewis re- 
ceived them into his own home. He took up their education, and 
soon had them speaking the English language. After he had won 
their confidence, they told him all about their home and their 
royal blood, and promised him that if he would fit out a ship and 
send them back to their own country, they would fill his vessel 
with a freight which would more than return him all his expenses. 
The vessel was equipped, to the great amusement of cynical 
friends, who took endless delight in predicting how the " niggers " 
would give Lewis the slip and laugh at him from the shadow of 
the palm-trees the moment they had got beyond his control. 
They were sent back, and kept their word. They loaded the 
little ship with gold-dust, ivory, palm oil, and other African pro- 
ducts, and did it with so generous a hand that the voyage proved 
the most profitable ever undertaken by the firm. 

252 lewis 

When the French war broke out in 1752, he had his first 
martial experience, being in Oswego when General Montcalm at- 
tacked and captured that place. In this struggle, which was 
brought to a successful issue largely through the valor and pa- 
triotism of the colonists, Lewis realized for the first time the for- 
midable power which had been developed in the New World. He 
saw that without the aid of its subjects in the colonies Great 
Britain would have lost its possessions beyond the sea. When, 
therefore, the Government of George III. failed to display any 
gratitude, and, on the contrary, increased its exactions and the 
burdens upon the American people, he was one of the first men of 
the Empire State to take up the opposition. In 1765, he was se- 
lected as a committeeman for New York by the five delegates to 
the Colonial Congress. Shortly after, he became a member and 
organizer of the "Sons of Liberty"; was a delegate to the Con- 
tinental Congress from 1776 to 1779, and a signer of the Declara- 
tion of Independence and of the Articles of Confederation. 

His wife was as imposing a figure in Revolutionary days as 
he himself. She was endowed with unusual attainments, and 
conducted in person the education of her children. At her home, 
whether in New York or at Whitestone, Long Island, she dis- 
pensed hospitality with a graceful hand, and was a favorite with 
the leaders of the early Republic. She was fiercely patriotic, and 
willingly faced death for the sake of her convictions. Shortly 
after the British occupation of New York, a detachment of red- 
coats was sent to destroy the Lewis home and to capture the 
mistress. She witnessed the destruction of her house with un- 
ruffled tranquillity. Taken to New York by her captors, she was 
thrown into the common prison and denied a bed or any extra 
clothing. Here she was treated as the vilest criminal for many 
months. The matter was reported to Washington, who immedi- 
ately put under arrest the wife of the British Paymaster-General 
and the wife of the Attorney-General, until they should be ex- 
changed for Mrs. Francis Lewis. 

The prompt action of the American commander had the 
desired effect: the lady was released from prison and put upon the 

TLewie 253 

jail liberties of the city. Her sufferings and privation were too 
much even for her vigorous constitution, and she contracted a 
fever which developed into lingering consumption. She lived to 
see her children married, but not her country liberated from British 
rule. Her husband reached the ripe age of ninety, passing away 
in 1803. 

Of the children, Ann married Post-Captain Robertson of the 
British Navy. The union proved happy and fruitful. The children 
seem to have inherited the Lewis characteristics, for all came to 
fill high positions in British society. One of Ann's daughters 
married Dr. Sumner, Archbishop of Canterbury; another, Bishop 
Wilson of Calcutta; and a third, Sir James Moncrieff, whose son 
was Baron Moncrieff. 

The two sons were exceedingly dissimilar. Francis, Jr., 
the elder, seems to have inherited the commercial talents of the 
maternal or Annesley side, and few or none of the FranciSF Jr . 
paternal. He received a fair education, and in 1771 the Merchant 
began a business career. His father, to aid the young man, be- 
came a partner in the house for a brief time, and accompanied his 
son to England to help establish mercantile relations with that 
country. He resigned from the firm the moment it began to 
prosper. The son devoted himself exclusively to business affairs, 
and took no part in public life. He married Miss Elizabeth Lud- 
low of the famous colonial family of that name. This marriage 
was bitterly opposed by the bride's brothers, who were strong 
Tories, and objected strenuously to their sister " marrying a man 
whose father would certainly be hanged as a traitor." True love 
triumphed, and the bride had the satisfaction years afterwards of 
seeing her father-in-law protect her kindred, when they returned 
from England in 1784 to take possession of their New York 

The younger son, Morgan [1754], was a duplicate of his 
illustrious father. He was graduated from Princeton Morgani 
with high honors in 1773, his college chum being James General and 
Madison. Ancestral influences had given him a strong 
inclination for the pulpit, but his father, perceiving the trend of the 

254 TLcwie 

boy's abilities, induced him to prepare for the bar. He began his 
legal studies, but was soon diverted from his work by the political 
excitement of the time. In 1774, he foresaw hostilities, and began 
to learn the military tactics of the time. In 177s, he joined a 
volunteer company, and with it went to increase the colonial forces 
at Boston. The same year, when just twenty-one, he was made 
major. In June, he became chief of staff to General Gates, with 
the brevet of colonel. In the winter, he was made quartermaster- 
general. He remained in active service during the entire war, 
proving one of the best soldiers in the Continental Army. He 
won the confidence and affection of nearly all the generals, and 
more especially of Washington. At the close of the conflict he 
retired from the army and resumed the legal studies which had 
been broken off eight years before, but he had won too large a 
place in the public heart to escape distinction. He was made 
colonel of a regiment of militia in New York City, and marched at 
its head at the first inaugural of George Washington. 

He pursued his studies with remarkable zeal, frequently 
spending fifteen and sixteen hours a day upon his law-books. He 
was admitted to the bar, and within one year had become a popu- 
lar pleader. His progress in public life from this point on was 
rapid and notable. He was sent to the Assembly from New York 
City in 1 789, and sat alongside of Rufus King. Shortly afterwards, 
he removed to Dutchess County, where the people honored him 
with the same office in 1792. His next position was a judgeship 
of the Common Pleas, and then he became Attorney-General of the 
State. In 1792, he was made a Justice, and in 1793, Chief Justice 
of the Supreme Court of the State. In 1804, he was elected Gov- 
ernor. His administration was marked by wisdom and states- 
manship. Its main feature was suggested in his message to the 
Legislature, which contained the following : 

" In a government resting on public opinion, and deriving its 
chief support from the affections of the people, religion and mor- 
ality cannot be too sedulously cultivated. To them science is a 
handmaid ; ignorance, the worst of enemies. Literary informa- 
tion should be placed within the reach of every description of 


The Marriage Certificate of Francis Lewis 

Xewis 255 

citizens, and poverty should not be permitted to obstruct the path 
to the fane of knowledge. Common schools, under the guidance 
of respectable teachers, should be established in every village, and 
the indigent educated at the public expense. The higher semi- 
naries, also, should receive every support and patronage within 
the means of enlightened Legislatures." 

He was a member of the State Senate in 1811, 1812, 1813, 
and 1814. His official duties did not prevent his returning to 
military service upon the breaking out of the War of 18 12. He 
was appointed quartermaster-general, with the rank of brigadier, 
served in Canada, took Fort George, and the next year was pro- 
moted to be a major-general. In 18 14, he was placed in command 
of New York City, which was threatened with an attack by the 
British war-ships. Upon the close of the war, he retired from 
political and martial life, and devoted himself to literature and 
agriculture. Long after he was sixty, he took up the study of 
Hebrew, and mastered that language in order to read the Old 
Testament in the original. In 1835, he was made President of the 
New York Historical Society. He was prominent in the Order of 
the Cincinnati, in 1829 being Vice-President-General and in 1839 
President-General, which he remained until his death, in 1844. 
He was a distinguished Mason, and held every office up to that 
of Grand Master of the State. 

General Lewis had an able helpmeet in his wife, Gertrude 
Livingston, daughter of Judge Robert Livingston, of Clermont. 
She was a woman of rare tact and social charm, who held a com- 
manding position in New York society. They had one child, a 
daughter, Margaret [1780], who married Maturin Livingston, and 
their daughter, Julia Livingston, in the next generation married 
Joseph Delafield. 

Both Francis the signer and Morgan were marked by an energy 
which was stupendous. They worked because they loved work, 
and their enjoyment was always in proportion to its difficulty. 
The same quality has marked their descendants in this country 
and their kindred in Scotland and England. The family records 
abound with little incidents which throw delightful side-lights 

256 lewis 

upon their character. What could be pleasanter than the story 
of General Lewis and the dog? When he returned from the 
lines during the War of 181 2, he brought with him, as an honored 
guest, the dog of General Brock. The latter, when dying, had 
requested that his faithful and aged servant and his dog should be 
sent home to his family in England. The servant had sailed, but 
the poor brute had been neglected. The General took charge of 
the dog, carried him to his house, and there kept him until he was 
in good condition and ready for the voyage to England. Then 
he made many inquiries in regard to the accommodations for 
canines on outgoing vessels, waiting until he could secure a ship 
on which his charge would be comfortable. This was at last 
secured ; the dog had a pleasant trip to England, where it was 
received as if a member of the family by the relatives of the dead 

In the midst of war's alarms, the General could find time to 
think of the lighter sides of daily life. Here is an illustrative letter 
to his wife : 

"Albany, nth October, 1812. 

" My dear Love : I gave your invitation to the General and 
suite, which they accept, provided nothing unforeseen prevents, 
so that you can look out for us on Saturday, the 17th, the day of 
Burgoyne's surrender and the succeeding one to my birthday. 
Have a light on the wharf. 1 hope we shall be in time for a dance. 
Enclosed is a note of thanks from the General for his present. 
The cover 1 tore off to render it more susceptible of enclosure. I 
sent some sermons by Mr. Schell and the other articles by the 

" God bless you all, prays your affectionate husband, 

" Morgan Lewis." 

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Major-General Morgan Lewis 

From the original portrait 


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